Why I quit as a MP today and fear for the future of Parliament if Brexit deadlock continues – John Mann

I HAVE written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer applying for the office of the Chiltern Hundreds and therefore resigning as a Member of Parliament. I will be introduced into the House of Lords.

Outgoing Bassetlaw MP John Mann has set out his reasons to step down.

I do so at a time when Parliament’s reputation is at its lowest with people, paralysed in its decision making and catapulting into the record books as the most ineffective Parliament of all times.

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The truth is that Boris Johnson, like Theresa May before him, has a minority government and Parliament on all sides has not developed the maturity to cope with this state of affairs.

John Mann has stepped down as Bassetlaw's MP.

Every custom and tradition in the House of Commons is predicated on a majority government which, if it loses, will trigger a general election. Whether one party of coalition majorities, pacts or supply arrangements, the system presumes a majority.

To change this culture is the most difficult challenge that Parliament faces if the election, which is bound to come, creates another minority government.

The power of the Prime Minister, Speaker and the whips will all need to be reconsidered if our democracy is to properly function.

Boris Johnson remains stymied because he leads a minority government.

I am not holding my breath at such maturity.

MPs define their own job. Some avoid their constituents like the plague, the more astute with regular press releases and social media. They live nowhere near the voters – usually in London – and their experience of schools, hospitals and everyday life is entirely different from their constituents. In my view, it is a big weakness.

I have taken a different approach for my 18 years in the Commons campaigning with local people and the local media to protect the services that my family uses.

And, on the big votes, I have always taken note of what my constituents want me to do. I wasn’t a delegate, but I was a representative.

From big issues like heroin addiction, health services and jobs, I believe the role is not just to speak for the people but to be their local leader.

Every time someone comes to their MP with a problem, however small it might be, I believe that an MP should use their position to empower their constituents and win for them. It is the one thing I will miss.

My title will be Lord Mann of Holbeck Moor in the City of Leeds, a place where my family lived for a century and where, in 1936, the people of Leeds stopped Oswald Mosley and the fascists.

Many have heard of Cable Street, few about the battle of Holbeck Moor when 30,000 decent Yorkshire folk stopped the fascists. More are going to learn about this hidden history.

In my final days, and even in my last few hours, as an MP, I continued to persuade the Government of the need to push through the £15m bid from the local hospital to reconfigure its Accident and Emergency Department in Bassetlaw with its paediatric unit.

This will solve the big local issue still outstanding, the loss of our 24 hour children’s ward two years ago. I have spent most of the weekend putting final arguments to supplement the hospital bid.

Everything I have stood for with my community is embodied in these final hours. Bassetlaw Hospital means more than anything to local people. This is politics at its most brilliant and rawest. Real issues, a big decision.

I received a letter from the Health Secretary Matt Hancock saying that he sees no reason why the improvement should not go ahead. It is at its final assessment and I am looking forward to celebrating this major breakthrough with the Minister before I put on the ermine.

John Mann was the longstanding MP for Bassetlaw before resigning to take up a seat in the House of Lords. He is the Government’s anti-semitism tsar.