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Independent Group should put integrity to test at ballot box

29 March, 2019

• THE Independent Group, together with three MPs who have resigned from the Conservative Party – let’s call them the Independent Trio – refuse to resign from Parliament in order to validate their action by fighting by-elections. They rely on the nostrum that they are the representative of their constituents and not a delegate.

All well and proper, but what motivated them to join a political party and cultivate people as greasy as a new fiver in the first place? The honest and ethical starting and final stance would be that of the independent. The independent could forever be true to his or herself and therefore to his or her constituents.

How can they face party members who campaigned for them, leafleted, turned out in bad weather and funded the campaign to get them into Parliament?

If they find themselves unable to stand by the party they now oppose they should have the strength of character to prove their integrity by fighting a by-election against that party. Remainer behaviour: refusal to take responsibility for their actions. Some would argue leaving their constituents un­represented.

Could it possibly be that securing the position of official candidate of a major party in a seat no worse than marginal pretty much guarantees victory and the letters MP after your name?

If that is the case anyone entering Parliament by compromising their independence in order to enjoy the support of a party organisation would never presume to hang around when they left that party.

Only the insincere would hide behind an esoteric distinction that finds life in textbooks. Of course, their constituents voted for them as candidates of the party and not for their singular brilliance. Let’s call it Democracy 2.0.

STEPHEN SOUTHAM
Mildmay Grove North, N1

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