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Dear voters, when it comes to electing someone to ‘represent’ your best interests in Parliament how do you decide who will best ‘represent’ you?

Because none of us know what situations will arise during an electoral term, we have to choose based on the character of the candidate in order to have some notion of how they are likely to behave in the future. But how to judge the character of someone you don’t know? What standards will they apply?

As past behaviour is best predictor of future behaviour, look at what they have done in the past.

When it comes to the opportunity for the people of High Wycombe to choose again, remember what Steve Baker just did.

The government has just made one of the most obvious attempts to not just chip away at, but to hack a great lump out of our democracy by dismissing the findings of the cross-party parliamentary Committee on Standards on Owen Patterson’s behaviour - an “egregious case” that “brought parliament into disrepute”.

I read the report and, in short, it is absolutely damning. It’s worth noting he had his team of lawyers with him and the deadlines were extended for him to present his witness accounts before the final appeal went to MPs to vote on.

Baker voted to dismiss the report, protect Owen Paterson and ignore what 14 people on the committee, from all sides of the house and from outside parliament, had decided on hearing the evidence.

What does this tell you about whether your elected representative will act in your (and your country’s) best interests in future?

An award-winning journalist, Paul Caruana Galizia, just commented: “If MPs voted to support Paterson just because Johnson ordered them to, then Parliament is not serving its function as overseer of government. If MPs genuinely think Paterson’s behaviour was acceptable, then we should be even more worried.”

Michael Duckett, High Wycombe