Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I congratulate my old friend Stewart Jackson

BBC says, 'Tory backbenchers voiced their dismay at the three-line whip - the strongest order a party can give - on Conservative MPs, which meant any who voted against the government would be expected to resign from government jobs.

Conservative MP Stewart Jackson told the Commons he would vote for the motion "with a heavy heart" and "take the consequences", which may mean losing his position as parliamentary private secretary to Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson. He said he wished there could have been a well-informed reasonable debate, instead of "heavy-handed whipping" and "catastrophic management" by his party.'

From 1990 to 1998 Stewart Jackson and I were colleagues on Ealing Council. On the opposite benches were Hilary Benn and Steve Pound who is now my MP and a friend. Stewart used to sit next to me in council meetings and I knew him to be no fan of the EU. So I congratulate him on nailing his colours to the mast against the whips, being a man of principle above party. Well done my friend.

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