MP Killen missed important EU vote
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.”