For the first time since I became an MP I have voted against a three line whip and my party line.
I am a loyal supporter of the Conservative Party, and of the Coalition Government but I simply could not support the House of Lords Reform Bill which would effectively abolish the House of Lords in all but name.
The British constitution is unique and the House of Lords forms a fundamental part of it. I feel that we should celebrate that uniqueness and not seek to change it.
The House of Lords Reform Bill proposes a mainly elected chamber where ‘Senators’ are given a fifteen year term without possibility of re-election. Even many people who support an elected House of Lords accept that this may give these ‘Senators’ a mandate but no accountability.
The House of Lords works. It may not be perfect but it does an effective job of reviewing legislation and amending where necessary. Our Parliamentary system is not perfect, but it is not broken either.
I am yet to meet anyone in Dartford that has said to me that we need more politicians and an extra layer of bureaucracy.
I am proud to be British, proud of our constitution and proud of our Parliament and I was not elected as the MP for Dartford to turn my back on what I believe to be right for the sake of the party line.