Leading Liberal Democrats have reacted angrily to the absence of all six of Cornwall’s MPs from a Parliamentary vote on Boris Johnson’s misconduct.
The privileges committee (which has a Conservative majority) reached the unanimous conclusion that the former Prime Minister repeatedly and intentionally misled the House of Commons. All Liberal Democrat MPs and a third of Conservative MPs voted to accept the report, with just a handful of Conservatives voting against, but hundreds of Conservatives (including all of Cornwall’s MPs) simply didn’t show up.
Cllr Colin Martin (who will be standing in South East Cornwall at the next General Election) said “Any MP who failed to vote in favour of this report is telling us one (or more) of the following:
- They didn’t bother to read the report
- They read it but didn’t understand it
- They believe that drinking alcohol in the office is an “essential workplace activity to boost morale”
- They understand the report but think it’s acceptable for the PM to lie to Parliament.”
“So whether they’re lazy, easily confused, drink at work or simply don’t care about telling the truth, anyone who failed to support this report is clearly not up to the job of holding the Government to account. Cornwall deserves MPs who are diligent, intelligent, sober, and above all, committed to telling the truth!”
Phil Hutty, the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for North Cornwall said that the vote was about more than whether lockdown rules were followed: “This is bigger than party politics: MPs on all sides of the house supported the report because telling lies to Parliament to cover up your mistakes is fundamentally bad for our democracy. People expect their representatives in Parliament to always put the integrity of the system above their loyalty to any party or individual.”
Ruth Gripper, the Lib Dem candidate in Truro and Falmouth, said: “People tell me they are really fed up and angry about the behaviour we’ve seen from the Conservatives in government – the partying during lockdown and trying to cover it up. This was a chance for our local MPs to show that standards and integrity in public life matter, irrespective of party politics. Instead, they ducked the vote. Honestly I think the public deserves better.”
Joanna Kenny, Lib Dem candidate for St Austell and Newquay said “ I have more respect for the seven MPs who voted against the Privileges Committee report, however much I disagree with them, because they had the courage of their convictions, than I do for those Tories who failed to vote, including all six of Cornwall Conservative MPs.”