UPDATE: It was Christopher Chope, and a write up of events is available here.
Last night I e-mailed the three Conservative members who were in the house when the Debt Relief Bill was stalled.
As reported in today’s Guardian, your name is one of three that have been floated as possible saboteurs of the Debt Relief (Developing Countries) Bill.
Given the nature of the Vulture Funds this Bill was meant to restrain, I request a clarification as to whether it was you who shouted “object” in order to kill the Bill.
If you were the one who shouted “object”, I would like to know on what grounds you did so.
If you were not the MP who shouted “object”, I would like you to clarify if you support the MP who did so and why.
I accept this will not be the only correspondence you receive with regard to this matter, but as this matter will effect the lives of millions of the world’s poorest I politely request as swift a response as possible.
So far I have received one response. Simon Burns states unequivocally:
I categorically did not shout ‘object’ to the Bill because like my frontbench I fully supported the Bill and did not expect anyone to object to the Bill. I do not know why an MP objected to the Bill.
Simon Burns MP
Member of Parliament
Today The Independent are running the story that Christopher Chope was the man who shouted “object.” This ensured that there was no way this Bill could pass before the next election.
Last night it emerged that Mr Chope had been the backbencher to raise his objection. He believes that the proposed legislation has not been properly debated in the Commons. The Tory leadership is known to have been angry and embarrassed.
Mr Chope told the Independent “If you are concerned about this Bill making progress, you should be asking why the Government hasn’t given it extra time. As far as today’s proceedings are concerned, there’s a big Government spin operation to shift the blame to other people.”
The question now becomes will Chope be punished by his constituents this spring and will the Tory leadership match their rhetoric with action and reintroduce this legislation if they win?
Are the Tories still nasty?
Mr Chope almost certainly is, Dave on the other hand has an opportunity to prove he might not be.
Dave can be a canny operator and he should be aware that this is only going to reinforce the dominant narrative of the last 20 years. The Tories are bastards.
The only way to counter this is not act embarrassed but to promise that the Tories would reintroduce this legislation if they win the election. It would be a boon to the developing world and would improve the party’s image.