YP Comment: Disrespect of mobile phone users

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IT’S not just the public who are bemused by MPs and councillors obsessing with mobile phones during meetings. When Labour minister Clare Short’s phone went off during a Privy Council meeting, the Queen observed: “Do answer it, dear. It might be somebody important.”

When Labour minister Clare Short’s phone went off during a Privy Council meeting, the Queen observed: “Do answer it, dear. It might be somebody important.”

It was the same after the last Autumn Statement – the abiding memory of Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell’s response was the photograph of Labour backbenchers tweeting furiously, or answering emails, rather than actually affording some courtesy to their colleague.

This explains the reaction to councillors being asked to refrain from using their phones at this week’s meeting of Leeds Council. Though some said it was important that they communicated with the public, this habit is, in fact, disrespectful to other speakers at a time when residents want politicians to be working together for the greater good. And that will only happen with better lines of communication.