Neil Parish MP
At the 2015 election hustings in Seaton, MP Neil Parish enthusiastically supported holding the Brexit referendum.
When Cameron announced the vote, however, he was for Remain, although neither he nor the local Conservatives did much obvious campaigning.
After the vote, Parish backed Boris Johnson, the chief Leaver, for the Tory leadership.
When Michael Gove forced Johnson out, Parish plumped for another Leaver, Andrea Leadsom (the one who robotically repeated ‘We need to take control’ in the TV debates).
Does it even matter to Parish whether we’re in or out of the EU?
Our MP, Neil Parish, is listed as one of 72 mainly Tory MPs who are landlords and voted against a Labour amendment to the Housing Bill which sought to establish “Implied term of fitness for human habitation in residential lettings”:
“This new Clause would place a duty on landlords to ensure that their properties are fit for habitation when let and remain fit during the course of the tenancy.”
As the threshold for registration with Commons authorities is £10,000 rent per annum, other landlord MPs who did not have to register their interest may also have voted against this amendment. 39% of Tory MPs, 26% of SNP MPs and 22% of Labour MPs are registered as landlords, compared to only 2% of the general population.
Our MP’s very short contribution to yesterday’s debate: ‘I agree with my hon. Friend wholeheartedly that we need to take action, however difficult. ISIL wants to destroy everything we believe in through its murderous acts. We need to act and to act now.’
It’s pretty certain that bombing Syria will increase ISIL’s support among radicalised young Muslims and lead to more ‘murderous acts’ in the UK. If bombing would defeat ISIL in Syria, this might be a risk that has to be taken. But it is difficult to believe that bombing, without effective local ground forces to take back territory, will remove ISIL. It is likely to kill some civilians, help the murderous Assad regime, and drive even more refugees to Europe.
@neil_parish attacks tax credit cuts – will he follow through and vote against proposals that don’t fully compensate workers who lose?
Our MP, Neil Parish, is one of 20 Conservative MPs who has voted for a backbench motion moved by veteran Labour poverty campaigner, Frank Field, calling on the Government “to reconsider the effect on the lowest paid workers of its proposed changes to tax credits due to come into force in April 2016, to carry out and publish an analysis of that effect, and to bring forward proposals to mitigate it.”
Mr Parish’s comments
He rightly said: ‘we have to make sure we support those people who are working hard in our constituencies. It’s arithmetic. If you’re on a low salary, those £1,000 or £2,000 … is a huge amount of your disposable income.’
How true this must be for many people in Seaton and East Devon, which are notorious for low wages.
Mr Parish added: “we have just lost our way a little. The Conservative party and this Government’s reputation is very much at stake.”
Will Mr Parish insist on full restoration of income for the affected families?
Mr Parish’s welcome stand adds to the pressure for ‘mitigation’. However this was still quite a weak resolution:
- It does not call for full compensation, so that no family on tax credits loses from the Government’s changes.
- It is does not call for reinstatement of full tax credits for new claimants, so it will not help low-waged workers in the future.
When George Osborne brings forward his expected revised proposals in his Autumn Statement, will Mr Parish at least insist that they provide for full compensation for everyone who has lost £1,000 or £2,000 – or even £3,000 – through these cuts?
An opportunity for Mr Parish and his fellow ‘rebels’
Mr Parish supported the Government when the issue first arose in September, and has only come forward now that the Lords (led by Labour, Lib Dem and independent peers) have forced the Government to rethink. Apart from Mr Parish and the other 19 ‘rebels’, the rest of the Tory party abstained on this motion, so the need for a retreat is recognised.
However since the Government has a majority of only 12, the 20 MPs have a lot of power – if they insist, they can force the Government to fully compensate all the losers.
Will our MP follow through – and promise to vote against any proposals that don’t fully compensate those workers who are losing out?