Honourable ac­tion would be to re­sign

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS -

✒ TWO weeks ago, when he called an open-air meet­ing in Pittville Park, Alex Chalk, MP for Chel­tenham, was asked what it would take to make him re­sign.

He an­swered that if there was “a scin­tilla of a sug­ges­tion that the Bri­tish gov­ern­ment would act un­law­fully, for­get it, game over” (Echo, Septem­ber 10).

But it ap­pears that the 30 or so peo­ple at that meet­ing were hard of hear­ing.

In­ter­viewed by Glouces­ter­shire Live when re­turn­ing to Par­lia­ment, Mr Chalk claimed that he had been re­fer­ring only to the Benn Act.

This looks disin­gen­u­ous to say the least: the ques­tion did not ap­pear to be about the Benn Act – and his re­ported an­swer was not con­di­tional.

A “scin­tilla” means a tiny trace, but the Supreme Court’s unan­i­mous ver­dict found a great mass of un­law­ful­ness.

Mr Chalk is a lawyer by back­ground and he must surely re­alise that he, as a Par­lia­men­tary Pri­vate Sec­re­tary in this gov­ern­ment, is guilty by as­so­ci­a­tion.

So the honourable course of ac­tion would be to re­sign.

In­stead he chose to lash out at MPS who un­der­stand that their job is to hold the Gov­ern­ment to ac­count.

It shouldn’t be nec­es­sary to point this out to Mr Chalk. Af­ter all, moral is­sues are easy to re­solve.

You can do what is right, re­gard­less of how this might af­fect your ca­reer, or you can do what is wrong – but then don’t be sur­prised if your opin­ion is no longer re­spected.

We are sur­prised too that our MP has not protested against the vir­u­lent lan­guage used by Boris John­son and At­tor­ney Gen­eral Geoffrey Cox in the House of Com­mons.

Am­ber Rudd, ex-tory MP and cabi­net min­is­ter, has warned that such ag­gres­sive rhetoric could in­cite vi­o­lence against op­po­nents, and that the PM’S ca­sual ap­proach to the safety of MPS and their staff is im­moral.

She has urged min­is­ters to con­sider their own judge­ments rather than stay des­per­ately loyal.

Chel­tenham for Europe calls on Mr Chalk to do the right thing: to re­sign from this Gov­ern­ment.

He should ded­i­cate him­self to serv­ing the best in­ter­ests of his con­stituents, the great ma­jor­ity of whom – like most peo­ple now – want the UK to re­main a mem­ber of the EU.

Chel­tenham for Europe likes to see the best in ev­ery­one and we are sure that sooner or later Mr Chalk will re­alise Mr John­son is bring­ing shame on our coun­try by tram­pling on the rule of law. Philip Cole Chair­man, Chel­tenham for Europe

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