A research report has confirmed that West Cornwall MP, Andrew George, is the most ‘rebellious’ Liberal Democrat MP in this Parliament since the last General Election in 2010.
Andrew has voted against the Government 56 times and refused to support (abstain) many more times. He has rebelled on issues such as Bedroom Tax, NHS Reforms, Student Tuition Fees, Military intervention in Syria and the Badger Cull.
Mr George said, “This is not a badge of honour. I’m just doing my job. I have always said that I’d put the best interests of my constituents above Party loyalty and hold the Government to account.
“I realised from day one of this Parliament that by taking the robust line I adopted I placed an impenetrable glass ceiling on any hopes of a career in Government.
“This is not about running away from ‘tough decisions’ which any Party has to face up to when in Government; it’s about opposing ‘wrong’ decisions. Wrong to risk putting profit before patient care in the NHS, wrong – through the ‘Bedroom Tax’ – to say that if you’re poor you have less right to a stable family home than the better off, wrong to commit the UK to yet another unjustifiable military intervention, this time in Syria, and wrong to cull thousands of badgers when the best science shows that it risks making the problem of bTB in cattle far worse.
“I’ve faced up to the ‘tough decisions’: risking alienation and heavy criticism from close Parliamentary colleagues and friends for defying the Party Whips; often standing alone and voting with people who don’t share your values and are only voting against for reasons of political opportunism; and being prepared to challenge the soothing reassurances offered by those on your own side.
“I want to forge a new relationship between Parliamentarians and the Parties in a Coalition Government; one which frees MPs from product of hurried policy negotiation which the Government hopes to rail-road through Parliament with little scrutiny.
“Doing Coalition politics should be easy. Get on deliver the things on which you agree, seek compromise when you don’t. But, when you can’t reach agreement, bring the matter to Parliament and decide the matter there. That way you strengthen Parliament and encourage people to become involved in political debate. It would give everyone a say and a decent chance to influence the outcome of debate.
“So, for me there’s no shame in what I’ve done. And I will feel pride if I encourage Parties to take a more ‘chilled out’ approach to the relationship between Government and Parliament.”