'Loyal' Amersham and Chesham MP Cheryl Gillan won't quit Government over HS2

Bucks Free Press: Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan

'I WON'T quit' was the clear message from Cheryl Gillan, the Amersham and Chesham MP, in an exclusive interview in Friday's edition of the Bucks Free Press.

Mrs Gillan said she would not be giving in to calls from political opponents and campaigners for her to resign as Welsh Secretary.

She said she was loyal to the Government and was making progress in lessening the harm to the Chilterns.

Her remarks welcoming changes to the plans infuriated campaigners, especially in Great Missenden, who felt she had backtracked from promises made before the 2010 General Election.

But she said: “I am not resigning. The speculation on my resignation has always come from the press and my political opponents and that's the way they fight.

“If they spend less energy attacking me and more energy turning their minds to what could be done with this project, that would be better.

“I'm exceedingly loyal to my party and my Government and I will remain so but I've always spoken my mind and I think that's respected.

“In a Parliamentary democracy the views of the majority prevail and currently the majority of MPs in the House of Commons support the HS2 project.

“I've looked at on behalf of my constituents at cancelling the project.

“But if it goes ahead I have a duty to my constituents and the best deal for the AONB and for Chesham and Amersham.”

Angry protesters from her constituency believe she has backtracked from her pledge at the General Election.

But Mrs Gillan said: “What I said before the election, and I never changed my position, is if they asked me to vote for a bill where there was no change, no change for my constituency I would have resigned the whip and I wouldn't have been able to vote for that bill.

“I was quite clear about it. But we've got already got some changes, good changes and I'm looking at what further possibilities there will be.”

Despite denying she will quit, bookmakers have still made her favourite to leave the Government.

But she dashed the odds: “For me politics is too serious and I'm not a gambling woman and I think it's rather sad that people should be gambling on people's careers, futures, jobs, homes or houses.

“They are trivialising what to me is a really important thing.

"I'm determined to get the best deal I can for my constituents.”

She also pointed toward a possible judicial review being examined by campaigners.

Great Missenden resident Marilyn Fletcher said fellow villagers were up in arms, pointing to a pre-general election meeting at the Misbourne School when about 300 people cheered Mrs Gillan rafters after she pledged her opposition to HS2.

“She made all sorts of promises at the election and people are absolutely furious in Great Missenden,” Mrs Fletcher said.

Great Missenden's Chiltern District Councillor Seb Berry, Independent, said: "On Tuesday, we had the unedifying sight of our MP  sitting on the Government front-bench in support of Greening's Statement.

“Less than two years ago the Welsh Secretary was elected on a clear platform of stopping HS2.  Far from ending the scheme, she now shares collective responsibility for the decision to push ahead with it.

“Her position as a very senior member of the Government is utterly untenable.

“She should forget Wales, resign her Cabinet post and spend the rest of this Parliament working publicly with her constituents to stop HS2.  That is what she was elected to do."

Comments (13)

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5:07pm Mon 16 Jan 12

Nick1042 says...

Won't quite well I guess next time we the public will have to vote her out, I know which way I will voitng and it won't be for any of the 3 main parties as you cannot trust any of them. I am afraid it has to be UKIP all the way from now on!
Won't quite well I guess next time we the public will have to vote her out, I know which way I will voitng and it won't be for any of the 3 main parties as you cannot trust any of them. I am afraid it has to be UKIP all the way from now on! Nick1042
  • Score: 0

5:08pm Mon 16 Jan 12

Missenden says...

I can only think that either Gillan is politically incompetent or utterly naive.

Either way we are probably better off without her.

The end result of her getting the ‘best deal’ for her constituents is reduced protection for Great Missenden, The Lee and all those along the ridge.

Plus, the on-going destruction of the Chilterns as the removal of planning restrictions results in the inevitable light industrial buildings and quarries (companies have already bought land along the route).

The only small satisfaction we can have is that she will be remembered for buying cat food on the public purse (by mistake) and for putting herself before her constituents.

All a bit silly when it would have been so easy to do the right thing and support those that voted her in.

Although, I suppose missing out on the driver and free rugby tickets would be too much of a sacrifice.
I can only think that either Gillan is politically incompetent or utterly naive. Either way we are probably better off without her. The end result of her getting the ‘best deal’ for her constituents is reduced protection for Great Missenden, The Lee and all those along the ridge. Plus, the on-going destruction of the Chilterns as the removal of planning restrictions results in the inevitable light industrial buildings and quarries (companies have already bought land along the route). The only small satisfaction we can have is that she will be remembered for buying cat food on the public purse (by mistake) and for putting herself before her constituents. All a bit silly when it would have been so easy to do the right thing and support those that voted her in. Although, I suppose missing out on the driver and free rugby tickets would be too much of a sacrifice. Missenden
  • Score: 0

5:46pm Mon 16 Jan 12

BucksWriter says...

I think we can all see where this MP's loyalties lie, and it's not with her constituents, which is what I thought the point of an elected representative was. Silly me.
I think we can all see where this MP's loyalties lie, and it's not with her constituents, which is what I thought the point of an elected representative was. Silly me. BucksWriter
  • Score: 0

5:58pm Mon 16 Jan 12

Hymnself says...

Go now you revolting hateful woman!
Go now you revolting hateful woman! Hymnself
  • Score: 0

6:24pm Mon 16 Jan 12

melhale says...

Quit her cushy gravy train? No way! Will we ever learn, voting these self serving, arrogant selfish vermin in?
Quit her cushy gravy train? No way! Will we ever learn, voting these self serving, arrogant selfish vermin in? melhale
  • Score: 0

7:51pm Mon 16 Jan 12

wayneo says...

She said she was loyal to the Government and was making progress in lessening the harm to the Chilterns.

Shouldn't your loyalty, first and foremost be to your Constituents Mrs Gillan?
[quote]She said she was loyal to the Government and was making progress in lessening the harm to the Chilterns.[/quote] Shouldn't your loyalty, first and foremost be to your Constituents Mrs Gillan? wayneo
  • Score: 0

9:37pm Mon 16 Jan 12

Malc London says...

I voted Conservative, but UKIP are the only alternative now.

She should resign or the voters will kick her out.
I voted Conservative, but UKIP are the only alternative now. She should resign or the voters will kick her out. Malc London
  • Score: 0

9:41pm Mon 16 Jan 12

J B Blackett says...

wayneo wrote:
She said she was loyal to the Government and was making progress in lessening the harm to the Chilterns.

Shouldn't your loyalty, first and foremost be to your Constituents Mrs Gillan?
You poor cloud-cuckoo-land over optimistic deluded voter , you.
[quote][p][bold]wayneo[/bold] wrote: [quote]She said she was loyal to the Government and was making progress in lessening the harm to the Chilterns.[/quote] Shouldn't your loyalty, first and foremost be to your Constituents Mrs Gillan?[/p][/quote]You poor cloud-cuckoo-land over optimistic deluded voter , you. J B Blackett
  • Score: 0

10:35am Tue 17 Jan 12

Scarletto says...

Not satisfactory Cheryl and hard to completely swallow as to your motives.

Many of us will now join the chorus calling for her to resign.
She's let us down and acted shamefully, showing little integrity. Not so long ago she was shamed for claiming for pet food on her Commons expenses.
Then she loudly backed opponents of the new rail route but caved in at the 11th hour to back the costly scheme which will spoil our countryside. She also wanted to toe the line with the rest of her Conservative party and desperately please colleagues there.
Now, guess what, it seems she's quietly sold her Whielden Street, Old Amersham home to get away from the nuisance rail line and says it's because of her old husband. She no longer has a home in our area. Huge coincidence.
She has defended her own selfish interests but not the lives of her constituents who trusted her to be honest and decent in her dealings with them.
She faces all ways to satisfy all but has other motives.
Hypocrite, I say madam. Be gone with you. Voters must cast her out at the next election.
There have been other MPs like her in the past and they were swept away for their doubtful actions. We haven't forgotten her pet food bills too! Oh how she must hope we shut up and stop criticising her......
Not satisfactory Cheryl and hard to completely swallow as to your motives. Many of us will now join the chorus calling for her to resign. She's let us down and acted shamefully, showing little integrity. Not so long ago she was shamed for claiming for pet food on her Commons expenses. Then she loudly backed opponents of the new rail route but caved in at the 11th hour to back the costly scheme which will spoil our countryside. She also wanted to toe the line with the rest of her Conservative party and desperately please colleagues there. Now, guess what, it seems she's quietly sold her Whielden Street, Old Amersham home to get away from the nuisance rail line and says it's because of her old husband. She no longer has a home in our area. Huge coincidence. She has defended her own selfish interests but not the lives of her constituents who trusted her to be honest and decent in her dealings with them. She faces all ways to satisfy all but has other motives. Hypocrite, I say madam. Be gone with you. Voters must cast her out at the next election. There have been other MPs like her in the past and they were swept away for their doubtful actions. We haven't forgotten her pet food bills too! Oh how she must hope we shut up and stop criticising her...... Scarletto
  • Score: 0

12:33pm Tue 17 Jan 12

Slacker says...

This is no surprise. MPs never keep their promises.
This is no surprise. MPs never keep their promises. Slacker
  • Score: 0

1:10pm Tue 17 Jan 12

wayneo says...

J B Blackett wrote:
wayneo wrote:
She said she was loyal to the Government and was making progress in lessening the harm to the Chilterns.
Shouldn't your loyalty, first and foremost be to your Constituents Mrs Gillan?
You poor cloud-cuckoo-land over optimistic deluded voter , you.
LOL, one can always live in hope Mr B ;-)
[quote][p][bold]J B Blackett[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]wayneo[/bold] wrote: [quote]She said she was loyal to the Government and was making progress in lessening the harm to the Chilterns.[/quote] Shouldn't your loyalty, first and foremost be to your Constituents Mrs Gillan?[/p][/quote]You poor cloud-cuckoo-land over optimistic deluded voter , you.[/p][/quote]LOL, one can always live in hope Mr B ;-) wayneo
  • Score: 0

1:12pm Tue 17 Jan 12

wayneo says...

Slacker wrote:
This is no surprise. MPs never keep their promises.
I don't know, I have to concede that Steve Baker has certainly surprised me a couple of times with the courage of his convictions.
[quote][p][bold]Slacker[/bold] wrote: This is no surprise. MPs never keep their promises.[/p][/quote]I don't know, I have to concede that Steve Baker has certainly surprised me a couple of times with the courage of his convictions. wayneo
  • Score: 0

10:07pm Tue 17 Jan 12

chesham20 says...

Don't waste the space in your paper as all you will get is politcal **** from her. Her non action over HS2 is appalling. GO TO WALES and keep you lies to yourself you vile person.
Don't waste the space in your paper as all you will get is politcal **** from her. Her non action over HS2 is appalling. GO TO WALES and keep you lies to yourself you vile person. chesham20
  • Score: 0

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