Rossendale Free Press



LAST week’s antics in Parliament have dealt a great blow to democracy and to public confidence in the integrity of the UK Government.

I’m sure I am not the only resident of Rossendale and Darwen to be totally perplexed by our MP’s vote for this travesty of natural justice.

Owen Paterson MP was found by the Parliament­ary Standards Committee to have [broken lobbying rules] - one of the worst offences an MP can commit.

Yet the reaction of the Government, instead of accepting his entirely deserved and indeed quite mild sanction of 30 days suspension, [was not only to refuse to accept the decision of the Standards Committee] but to try to disband the Committee and to trash the reputation of the Standards Commission­er.

I was extremely disappoint­ed to see that Jake Berry voted for this aggressive, unfair and ultimately selfdestru­ctive act.

Mr Berry quite often abstains from voting, indeed I was very disappoint­ed to see recently that he cast no vote on preventing the discharge of sewage into our rivers, an issue of great importance to many of his constituen­ts.

It is inexplicab­le that Mr Berry should choose this particular occasion to return to the voting lobbies when it would have been better all round for Parliament and his constituen­ts if he had abstained or, even better, voted against.

It is my understand­ing that Tory MPs were whipped to support the amendment and I would like to ask Jake Berry, via the pages of the Rossendale Free Press, to explain why he felt it was more important to obey the Whip rather than to do the right thing.

His constituen­ts deserve answers.

Liz McInnes Haslingden Old Road, Rossendale

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