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It’s a pity MP did not do this earlier
12:46pm Friday 14th September 2012 in Your Letters
FOR two years, I have been calling on Cheryl Gillan MP to quit the Cabinet to concentrate on the public fight against HS2. As a senior member of the Conservative front bench before the election, we needed our MP to be at the forefront of the public campaign to stop HS2.
We needed her to stand up for her constituents and to work with others to maximise the public pressure on the Prime Minister. Instead, she chose to stay inside a pro-HS2 Cabinet, shared collective responsibility for the decision to push on with HS2, restricted her public comments to concerns about the route only and in 2012 advised constituents that the focus of her efforts would be on mitigation not fighting the scheme.
What a difference a sacking makes but things could have been very different. Had Mr Cameron chosen to keep her on as Welsh Secretary, our newly and self-proclaimed ‘liberated’ MP would instead have stuck to the excruciating formula of words she has adopted for public comments on HS2 since the election and continued to share ministerial responsibility for the Government’s pro HS2 policy.
Of course I welcome her latest public statements and the massive media coverage this has triggered over the last week, all of which is helpful to the Stop HS2 campaign. It’s just a great pity that she didn’t do this voluntarily at any stage over the last two years, preferring to dismiss out of hand all those in her constituency who called on her to do so. Had she not waited to be sacked before finding her public voice, the impact of her comments over the last few days would have been even greater.
Cllr Seb Berry, Independent, Great Missenden