As a Member of Parliament my duty, first and foremost, is to serve the constituents of Newport West.
My decisions are never influenced by payments from large corporations or organisations, looking to sway political decisions for their own profit and gain.
I wish that I could say the same was true for all of my Parliamentary colleagues.
The sleaze within Westminster has become undeniable over the last few weeks and the failure to address it is a stain on us all.
It is alleged that some Conservative MPs were told that they would lose funding for their constituencies, if they did not back the vote to dismantle the current Standards Committee and excuse Owen Paterson MP.
As a reminder, Owen Paterson had been found, by that same Standards Committee, to have misused his position for the benefit of the two companies that he worked for. If the allegation of bullying and bribing to get the vote passed is true, then it is utterly disgraceful.
Thankfully, it now seems that the Conservatives have been forced to do a complete U-turn.
Their climb-down was only made possible through the united, righteous outrage, across the opposition benches and refusal to participate in the new, rigged, committee that the Tory’s were looking to develop.
These double-jobbing MPs, the lucrative second jobs that some take, are not for a noble cause, or to help their constituents. In short, they are entirely unlike the work of Labour MPs Dr Rosena Allin-Khan and Nadia Whittome, who served bravely and well in the health and social care sector during the pandemic.
To contrast, disgraced former Secretary of State for Wales, MP Alun Cairns, was paid £214 per hour for a total of £15,000 a year as a consultant, advising a private company. This company profited from the pandemic. The Advisory Committee on Business Appointments concluded, when Alun Cairns took on the job, that there was “an inherent risk it could be perceived your [Alun’s] contacts might assist BBI Group unfairly”.
It is actions like those, which, even if they are not technically rule breaking, bring the system into disrepute. They raise the question that everyone is now asking; who exactly do MP’s actually work for? The basis of representative democracy is accountability, the ultimate source of that is the voting public. I work and serve only Newport West and will continue to do so as long as I have the faith and confidence of the voters.
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