Honourable action would be to resign
✒ 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