MP Killen missed im­por­tant EU vote

Rutherglen Reformer - - News -

Ger­ard Killen MP said he missed a vi­tal vote on Brexit due to a“long-stand­ing fam­ily com­mit­ment”over­seas.

MPs voted on Mon­day night to pass the Euro­pean Union (With­drawal) Bill at its se­cond read­ing by 326 votes to 290.

Mr Killen was not among them but he in­sisted this week he had not ab­stained on the is­sue.

He said:“I was not present in par­lia­ment for the vote due to a long-stand­ing over­seas fam­ily com­mit­ment.

“The Par­lia­men­tary Labour Party are aware of this and my ab­sence has been au­tho­rised.

“I would like to clar­ify that I sup­port the Labour Party’s po­si­tion and if I had been able to at­tend the vote I would have voted against the bill.

“Un­for­tu­nately, had I not ful­filled this com­mit­ment which pre­dates my elec­tion, mem­bers of my fam­ily would have been ad­versely af­fected.

“Since my elec­tion in June it has been a plea­sure to meet with lo­cal groups and key part­ners and to help con­stituents who have con­tacted me or come along to one of nine ad­vice surg­eries that I have held.

“I look for­ward to re­turn­ing to the con­stituency on Septem­ber 17 to con­tinue work­ing hard to rep­re­sent Ruther­glen and Hamil­ton West.”

Clare Haughey MSP said vot­ers in Ruther­glen had been“dis­en­fran­chised”.

She added:“This was, ar­guably, the most im­por­tant piece of UK-wide con­sti­tu­tional leg­is­la­tion in over 40 years.

“The bill rep­re­sents a bla­tant power grab on the pow­ers of the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment. As­pects of the bill will also see Tory min­is­ters re­serve power to them­selves that will al­low them to amend leg­is­la­tion with­out UK par­lia­men­tary scru­tiny.

“It is dis­ap­point­ing, there­fore, when some 63 per cent of vot­ers in South La­nark­shire voted to re­main in the EU and with so much at stake that af­fects his con­stituents, that Mr Killen has been on an ex­tended fam­ily trip whilst par­lia­ment is sit­ting and such im­por­tant mat­ters are be­ing de­cided.”

Coun­cil­lor Robert Brown said:“It is high time for Labour to join the Lib­eral Democrats in call­ing for an exit from Brexit and pro­vid­ing an op­tion to stay in the Euro­pean Union. I can­not be­lieve that Labour are still signed up to go­ing ahead with Brexit.

“Ev­ery Labour MP will be held ac­count­able if they fail the coun­try on this his­toric and dam­ag­ing is­sue.”

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