Boris Johnson and Owen Paterson’s rotten response to sleaze – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Pete Dring, York.

File photo dated 28/02/17 of Owen Paterson who has has resigned as the MP for North Shropshire.

THE tragic death of Sir David Amess shows the pressure and danger faced by MPs, but it also highlighted that there are men and women of admirable integrity who serve selflessly in Parliament.

Sadly, the case of Owen Paterson’s outlawed advocacy has highlighted how necessary it is to have an independent panel who can investigate corruption and misconduct wherever it occurs.

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UK Parliament official file portrait of Owen Paterson who has has resigned as the MP for North Shropshire.

Last week’s vote on delaying Mr Paterson’s suspension for sleaze and the subsequent government U-turn was not a proud moment for British democracy.

But I draw hope from the way that the only people who came out well from the murky affair were the Conservative politicians who rebelled against the three- line whip to vote with their conscience rather than their party. I hope that this behaviour spreads and becomes endemic!

I was particularly interested in how those who voted for the Leadsom amendment attempted to justify it even after the U-turn. Julian Sturdy’s (York Outer – my constituency) response was very similar to that which was repeated on The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday morning, namely that MPs should have a right to appeal any decision by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

My understanding is that the Independent Expert Panel was established by resolution of the House of Commons on June 23, 2020, to hear appeals against decisions made by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards (which led the investigation against Mr Paterson).

File photo dated 28/02/18 of Sir John Major who has suggested the Johnson administration was "politically corrupt" over the way it treats Parliament.

On the day of the vote on the Leadsom amendment, my school led an excellent assembly on the British values of democracy and the rule of law. Young people especially deserve to be led by politicians who adhere to the same standards that the Government is asking schools to promote.

From: Jayne Adye, Director, Get Britain Out.

UNTIL Boris Johnson makes a priority of protecting the UK fishing industry and the sovereignty of our waters, President Macron will continue to play political games and make threats against the UK.

The current attitude of simply trying to sweep problems under the carpet will not work, and the PM’s failure to keep his promises to the UK fishing industry will not be forgotten.

Perhaps I would be convinced the PM cared more about the issue if he had appointed a Minister responsible for fisheries who actually seemed engaged on the topic – or at the very least represented a coastal community.

I am just grateful Lord Frost is there to make sure Brexiteers actually have a voice in the room, or who knows what we will eventually come out having agreed to!

Lord Frost must be given real ammunition to hit back and shift the balance towards the UK. For example, it’s about time the UK makes the payment of the so-called “Divorce Bill” conditional on the resolution of fishing talks and the end to French threats. In 2021 alone, we are set to send £7bn to the EU, with £5bn to follow in 2022.

Why on earth should we send this money to a hostile foreign organisation which so obviously has no interest in being our true “friend and partner”?

Until Mr Johnson shows Mr Macron he is serious about real support for the UK’s fishing industry and UK fishermen, this merry-go-round of threats and crisis will continue for years.

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