Should Anna Soubry be deselected?

  LastChip 01:03 07 Dec 2016

It will be no news to those here that follow such things, that Anna Soubry has been a constant thorn in the side of her adopted party (Tory) regarding Brexit.

I assumed her constituency had voted to stay, but on further research I discovered her constituency had voted to leave and by quite a decent margin.

She is clearly not following her party line or indeed, the will of her constituents. This is even more problematic when one is the Minister for Small Business.

So the wider question is; when is it OK to ignore the people you serve? Can it ever be justifiable or is it time to resign when you can't put your own beliefs into the background and fight for what your constituents asked for?

MP's are very good at telling us they are public servants. It seems some don't actually understand what servant means.

  oresome 09:07 07 Dec 2016

Did Anna Soubry clearly express her own views at the time of being elected?

If so, I don't see that there is a problem.

There'd be more of a problem if she said one thing, on the strength of which I cast my vote and then changed her view.

We have a democracy where we choose the candidate who most closely expresses views we agree with, not one where the candidate alters their view to suit popular opinion.

  Forum Editor 09:26 07 Dec 2016

It's interesting, isn't it?

Anna Soubry hasn't been entirely consistent as far as our EU membership is concerned. In October 2011 she voted against a proposal to hold a referendum on our EU membership. A couple of years later, she had changed her mind and in July 2013 she voted in favour of a referendum. In June 2015 she again voted in favour of a referendum. She did the same thing once more, in September of 2015.

The fact that Anna's constituency voted to leave is not in itself a reason why she should be in favour of it - the referendum took place after her election, and I don't think anyone was under any illusion about her feelings. Neither is it (in my view) a reason to deselect her. She isn't ignoring the people who elected her because they didn't do so on the basis of her feelings about EU membership.

There is evidence that quite a few people were all in favour of a referendum when they thought there was no chance of a 'LEAVE' vote. Then, when they were faced with the reality of the result, they didn't like it - they had obviously never considered the possibility that we would vote to leave.

Anna is undoubtedly an embarrassment to Theresa May, who is I think doing her best to implement the referendum decision, despite her own steadfast support for the remain campaign in the run-up to the referendum.

All MPs are entitled to hold to their own views on all manner of things, but if they feel unable to support their party and/or their constituents on important issues, perhaps they should offer to step down.

Anna is no longer a government Minister, by the way. She's returned to the back benches.

  Aitchbee 10:49 07 Dec 2016

It's her birthday today, btw - A happy 60th Anna.

  wee eddie 11:13 07 Dec 2016

spider; I don't think that you actually read FE's posting.

What he actually said was "That she has not been consistent"

  rickf 11:24 07 Dec 2016

Ridiculous idea to deselect her.

  Forum Editor 11:25 07 Dec 2016

Anna hasn't gone out of her way to irritate people, but she has voiced her views fairly frankly - back in September she referred to John McDonnell (shadow chancellor) as 'a very nasty piece of work' because - she alleged - he allowed his cronies to terrorise 'decent' Labour MPs “There are women MPs who suffer day in, day out, from mysogynist, unpleasant, sexist abuse on Twitter and Facebook, from people who are apparently from within their own party.”

She went on to say (to McDonnell) that “There is a Jewish Labour MP who is living in a safe house because of the levels of Antisemitism she has to bear. It’s a disgrace and it has to stop, and you sir can stop it.”

She's outspoken, which many people say is no bad thing, but that doesn't entitle anyone to incite others to harm her, as one idiot did when he tweeted "Someone jo cox Anna Sourby please"., or as another (or the same) person did when he called her constituency office and said she was "going to get it like Jo Cox".

Politics is a contentious and sometimes offensive arena, but there is never a justification for advocating the death of someone whose views you disagree with. No politician can be expected to submit to that kind of treatment.

  Forum Editor 11:30 07 Dec 2016

What he actually said was "That she has not been consistent"

I did, but perhaps I should have expanded a little on that. Anna's about-change between 2011 and 2013 may well have been a response to a government whip on the vote. She saw a need to change horses as a result. I don't know what motivated her, and it would be wrong to read too much into it.

  LastChip 11:36 07 Dec 2016

Actually, our FE said; "Anna Soubry hasn't been entirely consistent".

Thank you FE for telling me she was no longer a Minister. I hadn't realise that. My post was based on research I was doing that clearly wasn't as up to date as you are :-)

As a clarification to my post, MP's are supposed to be representatives for the people that elected them. I'm not suggesting at all, that they shouldn't have personal views, but they are (in the main) elected on a party platform and are by inference expected to support the party that adopted them.

When you have an issue so big as the referendum and having had your leaders stating very clearly they will implement the decision, can you then justifiably wander off down your own path, defying both your party and electorate?

That's what I was trying to get across.

It seems to me, she simply wants to pursue her own agenda and has no regard at all for her party or indeed her electorate.

  Forum Editor 11:51 07 Dec 2016

"It seems to me, she simply wants to pursue her own agenda"

I can't disagree with that view, but perhaps we should pay Anna the courtesy of at least allowing that she is acting according to her conscience. Anybody has that entitlement, although with MPs it might be fairer to say that they should not be compelled to do anything that would mean going against their conscience. It's the reason that there are sometimes free votes in the Commons - on the subject of the death penalty, for instance.

  rickf 13:06 07 Dec 2016

Has Boris Johnson been consistent?? Should he be deselected?

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