They say 24 hours is a long time in politics, but it took just 14 hours for the fortunes of Guildford MP Angela Richardson to go from bust to boom!
Michael Gove’s Ministerial Aid was reinstated as his PPS a mere 14 hours after she was sacked for disobeying Boris the Bully’s order to help save Owen Paterson from taking his lobbying punishment like a grown-up.
Although dubbed a Tory rebel, it’s unheard of for Angie to ignore the whip. Not that we know she did – much more likely, she was out posting a selfie! Better known as the ‘Kodak Kid’, Angie has never knowingly disobeyed her Buddy Boris, but maybe, now she’s finding her feet, she was testing the waters! That’s the water down in the South-West where Angie is determined to show the naysayers that raw sewage isn’t a problem! Is it?
According to press reports, doing her best to walk the tightrope, Angela abstained, refusing to vote for an amendment that would save the former minister from a 30-day suspension for trousering shedloads of dosh for lobbying. Thus allowing her to tweet, in a fit of righteous indignation, that she was fired for “a matter of principle.’
So there you have it folks, our Ange, didn’t vote against the unpopular amendment – more like she simply didn’t rock up! Some principle that turned out to be!
Presumably, Boris’s Babe, who has been helping to fill the Tory coffers for many years, knows what standards mean. Once-upon-a-time she was co-opted onto Cranleigh Parish Council, where the Nolan Principles for Conduct in public life means what it says on the tin.
The Seven Principles of Public Life
Thank the Lord that now the Father of The House, the sanctimonious Douglas Reese-Mogg, has announced a giant U-turn Angie and Co don’t have to put their heads above the parapet next Monday to vote for the Paterson’s suspension to continue. Because if she did, she could have found time running out for herself.
Thankfully, SW Surrey MP Jeremy Hunt, who seconded the motion, doesn’t have a post to lose. However, he could now find it easier to find a park bench rather than a front bench position? Here’s what he had to say.
WHAT’S GOING ON IN WESTMINSTER
STANDARDS ROW Yesterday, parliament voted to put in place a new standards system for MPs. I supported the change (and put my name to the amendment that made it possible). I know some will disagree, but I did so after careful thought because I believe the system is wrong, should be changed – and this was a chance to do so. My view is that MPs should set the rules about their behaviour but not sit in judgement on themselves. I therefore believe we should have an independent process overseen by a retired judge including a right of appeal. In doing so neither I – nor parliament – made any judgement about Owen Paterson nor would it be right to do so. In truth there is no popular time to change a system like this but if it is the right thing to do I think we have to get on and do it. It looks like the government has now taken the decision to split wider reform from Owen’s case which should help get much needed reforms through on a cross party basis.