07/04/2010

Last PMQs for Andrew

Posted in Andrew Mackinlay at 2:48 pm by henrysgauntlet

Watched Prime Minister’s Questions this morning, the last of this Parliament.

He didn’t speak, but there, sitting in his usual place on the front bench just below the gangway, was Andrew Mackinlay.   And it struck me how odd it is that I shall not see him there again.

Henry has known Andrew for a long time, both locally and at Westminster.   We do not support the same political party, but am pleased to say we have been good friends.

Andrew Mackinlay has been a fine MP for Thurrock, and a strong, fearless, independent voice at Westminster who was never afraid to speak and vote against his party if his conscience demanded it.   He will be sorely missed in Thurrock and at Westminster.   There are now hardly any independent, difficult (for the whips) characters left, and it’s unlikely there will be many, if any, in the new Parliament.

Henry sends his very best wishes for the future to Andrew, to Ruth and to their family.   Henry is proud to have known him.

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2 Comments »

  1. Kerry said,

    I think you will find he talks the talk and always first to give the media a sounbite as a ‘rebel’ but when it comes to the vote he backs the Government. The majority of his parliamentary ‘rebellions’ have been on procedural issues of no real consequence.

    It is also a shame that throughout his years as an MP he failed to move to Thurrock instead continuing to live in his large detached mansion in Chessington, Surrey.

  2. henrysgauntlet said,

    I’m sorry you feel as you do.
    My view is based on knowing Andrew, and on the tremendous work he has done for several great causes such as the Gurkhas and the first world war soldiers who were executed. He fought a tremendous battle on these causes even against his own party.
    A lifetime’s experience has shown me that for an MP to live in his constituency has as many disadvantages as advantages. Just suppose the MP or his wife fall out with one of the local shopkeepers. The story would bounce around the constituency in no time, and would be remembered for years.
    What is important is that he should be in the constituency frequently, should meet his constituents and help them when needed, should support local groups and clubs, and should have somewhere in the constituency to stay so he can be there for a whole weekend. Andrew does all of those things.
    As I said originally, I am not of the same political party as Andrew, but I do recognize when someone has done a very good job.


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