Emma Lewell-Buck: Elected public office should never be a safe haven for liars, cheats, abusers and bullies

Being your MP is the honour and privilege of my life, it is my one and only job and one which I am devoted to every single day.

Wednesday, 17th November 2021, 4:43 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th November 2021, 4:43 pm
Ex-Tory MP Owen Paterson was found guilty by the Independent Commissioner for Parliamentary Standards of lobbying officials and Ministers on behalf of the firms he was a paid consultant for.

The past few weeks have made me so angry; the behaviours of the Prime Minister and his MPs in trying to rip up the rules that govern our behaviours will damage the public’s faith not just in Parliament but all MPs.

The ex-Tory MP Owen Paterson was found guilty by the Independent Commissioner for Parliamentary Standards of lobbying officials and Ministers on behalf of the firms he was a paid consultant for. Consultancies he was paid more than £100, 000 per year for.

Instead of accepting these findings, on the 3rd of November the Prime Minister whipped his MPs to reject them, ripping up the rules on standards. He is now resisting Labour’s calls to ban second jobs for MPs.

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As a result, Parliament is spending an enormous amount of time debating and voting on standards for MPs instead of dealing with our country’s many problems.

Almost daily the true grubby depths of this Government are being revealed. Geoffrey Cox has earned almost £900,000 through outside jobs and has been spending his time in the Virgin Islands not his constituency, or Parliament.

The previous Chairman of the Conservative Party, Health Secretary and current Housing Secretary have fast tracked PPE companies through a ‘VIP lane’ securing them £1.6 billion in government contracts. This appears to be on top of the estimated £1.5billion in Covid contracts previously given by the Government benches to Tory friends and donors.

The Prime Minister continues to protect the Home Secretary in the wake of bullying findings and has welcomed back into his party an MP who was found to have sexually abused staff.

Elected public office should never be a safe haven for liars, cheats, abusers and bullies yet time and time again both in Parliament and local government we see it being brushed under the carpet and tolerated whilst the victims and their constituents are left without any redress at all.

Things must and have to change.