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‘Trumpian’: Welsh polticians slam Westminster vote to stop suspension of Tory MP

03 Nov 2021 4 minutes Read
Owen Paterson picture by Richard Townshend (CC BY 3.0).

Welsh politicians have slammed a Westminster vote to stop the suspension of a Tory MP who committed an “egregious” breach of lobbying rules.

Owen Paterson faced a 30 day suspension and a possible by-election, after a committee found he had misused his position to benefit two companies he worked for.

Allies of the North Shropshire MP however have proposed a new committee to look at how investigations are carried out, a move backed by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson and a Commons vote, by 250 to 232.

Welsh Secretary Simon Hart and neighbour Stephen Crabb were among those who did not vote despite the Conservative whip.

Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts said that the whole case was an example of “Tory sleaze”.

“[He] used his power to further the interests of people who paid him more than an MP’s salary,” she said.

“His mates just voted to let him off the hook.

“Plaid Cymru believes it’s a full-time job to represent constituents. Party policy bans taking extra salaried work.”

Commenting on the decision, Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said that the development was “Trumpian”.

“While I understand Owen Paterson MP has faced a difficult few years, publicly elected members of the UK’s political system must be held to the highest of standards in order to maintain trust with the public and protect the integrity of our democracy,” she said.

“Today’s developments mark a shameful move by Conservative MPs to rewrite the rules to look after one of their own. It’s also sheer hypocrisy after ministers claimed they couldn’t change the rules retrospectively to allow Rob Roberts MP to be voted out by his constituents.

“This Conservative Government is continuously marred by sleaze and now is watering down the independent scrutiny we need to prevent more scandals dragging our politics through the mud.

“The public are sick and tired of watching the Conservative Party allow one set of rules and standards for themselves while expecting another set for the rest of the country and will see through this blatantly Trumpian move.”

‘Fairly’

Speaking in the Commons, Welsh Labour MP Chris Bryant, Chair of the Committee on Standards, said that Owen Paterson had lobbied ministers “time and again, in a way that conferred a direct benefit on his paying clients”.

“That is expressly forbidden. It is a corrupt practice,” he added. He said Mr Paterson was given “every opportunity” to put his case across – and his case was heard “respectfully and fairly”.

He added after the vote that he would continue to chair his committee.

The SNP have already said that they will not take part in any new committee set up as a result of the vote.

Owen Paterson later issued a statement saying he now has the opportunity to clear his name.

“The process I was subjected to did not comply with natural justice,” he said.

“No proper investigation was undertaken by the commissioner or committee. The standards commissioner has admitted making up her mind before speaking to me or any witnesses.

“All I have ever asked is to have the opportunity to make my case through a fair process. The decision today in parliament means that I will now have that opportunity.

“After two years of hell, I now have the opportunity to clear my name.

“I am extremely grateful to the PM, the leader of the house and my colleagues for ensuring that fundamental changes will be made to internal parliamentary systems of justice.

“I hope that no other MP will ever again be subject to this shockingly inadequate process.”

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Huw
Huw
26 days ago

Corrupt to the core, always has been.

Richard
Richard
26 days ago

So sad it’s back to an time that really we all thought had passed.

Hannergylch
Hannergylch
26 days ago
Reply to  Richard

Seen with hindsight, the MPs’ expenses scandal looks like clever misdirection. While the Telegraph was stoking public outrage about expense claims, MPs with side-hustles just carried on as usual.

Quornby
Quornby
26 days ago

It will make no difference at the polls, the English will continue to lumber us with these specimens.

Ed Jones
Ed Jones
26 days ago

Utter crooks. Carry on idiots, we will not forget. I feel pity, genuinely, for the decent Tories out there, but must ask, when will you speak up?! Britain deserves better. Get them out ASAP!

j humphrys
j humphrys
26 days ago
Reply to  Ed Jones

Lend me your magnifying glass, Ed?

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
26 days ago

Well one day we’ll be rid of them. We can then create our own constitution to try and stop this sort of corruption happening again. Staying in the UK will only see it continue.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
26 days ago

Is this what Brexiteers wanted for Wales. To be dominated by one of the most crooked corrupt centrist English Conservative governments in political history. I bet Jacob Rees- Mogg is laughing his britches off as he drinks his tepid Cognac whilst combing his powdered wig in front of his publically funded Brazilian log fire adding further to our carbon footprint. Who cares, he says. I don’t. The Conservatives think of you as the great unwashed, who now assume they are above the law. And you, yes, you aided them. And whether you were naive , misinformed or just plain stupid… Read more »

Last edited 26 days ago by Y Cymro
Robinson-Redman Andrew
Robinson-Redman Andrew
26 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Liz Saville Roberts reminds people that MP’s and MS’s have a job to represent their constituents against corruption etc.Please call out the behaviour of your own senior Plaid members if you wish to have any credibility.All politicians ,whatever their affiliations MUST be judged by the same standards.If local politicians are seen to act unlawfully with impunity they will begin to believe it is acceptable to carry on with such behaviour if and when they enter the realms of national politics.Turning a blind eye to your own politicians whilst condeming others is NOT acceptable.

Huw Davies
Huw Davies
26 days ago

Sounds reasonable but could we have specific examples please?

Gareth Wyn Jones
Gareth Wyn Jones
25 days ago

Give an example please

R W
R W
25 days ago

What an interesting statement. You seem to throw mud at Plaid without backing it up with any proof to support your claim. I see you don”t throw any mud at Labour or the LibDems (or any other party) here. Is that because you think they are whiter than white or do you have an ulterior motive for your assertion? I can’t help but assume from that that you might be a BritNat who is having a go at Plaid rather than the Unionist parties because you hate the idea of Wales breaking away from Westminster rule and becoming an independent… Read more »

j humphrys
j humphrys
26 days ago

Welsh Gov should star demanding same rights as Northern Ireland with the EU?
The moral corruption in England will continue as long as fttp exists.

Last edited 26 days ago by j humphrys
Rob
Rob
26 days ago

The UK is not a democracy, it’s past time that people should stop pretending that it is…

Gareth Wyn Jones
Gareth Wyn Jones
26 days ago

The Tory party is a crime syndicate working out of Westminster with branches in Cardiff and Edinburugh

Gareth Wyn Jones
Gareth Wyn Jones
26 days ago

Just one question to Chris Bryant, do you feel pride this morning with Westminster?

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
26 days ago

Fay Jones, MP for Brecon and Radnor, voted to legalise corrupt behaviour.

Erisian
Erisian
26 days ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

Too timid to resist the Whip’s office I imagine.
Too willing to stand by and say nothing.
I had started to think Fay Jones might actually be Welsh before Tory.
So dies another hope on the St Stephan bonfire of the truth.

Gareth Wyn Jones
Gareth Wyn Jones
25 days ago
Reply to  Erisian

Innocence has its place but not dealing with tories

Stuart Cane
Stuart Cane
26 days ago

Labour need to respond with a clear and simple message: MPs are paid well and should not be allowed a second income. MPs should be answerable only the people who elected them, not the companies paying £100,000 for political access. Looks like a reasonable first step towards winning back the lost voters.

Erisian
Erisian
26 days ago
Reply to  Stuart Cane

Even Labour have bought the lie that such a move would discourage the ‘brightest and best’ from wanting to enter politics.
Which as we all know is total dangly bits

Ex Plaid member
Ex Plaid member
25 days ago

“people who elect corrupt politicians are not victims but accomplices” Maybe Orwell or maybe not. Its not the politicans fault, but as a people we elected them, they know we don’t choose on integrity and so the blame is ours alone. Same happens all the way down to local council level.

Mick Tems
Mick Tems
25 days ago

I have never, never voted utterly corrupt Tory – it’s a matter of honest principle. If ever I do, I would regard myself as a traitor to the Welsh Nation.

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