Preston MP Mark Hendrick votes against the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill and makes a point of insulting the successful Leave campaign

Yesterday the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill received its Second Reading in the House of Commons, an important step towards becoming law.

This bill is a necessary part of our leaving the EU. When passed it will repeal the European Communities Act of 1972, the Act of Parliament that first took us in (without any referendum), while maintaining continuity with existing EU regulations, incorporating them into British law so they can be approved, amended or repealed by our own parliament.

The Labour Party voted against this necessary bill, under a “three-line whip” – strong internal pressure on MPs to toe the party line. Only seven Labour MPs defied that whip; Mark Hendrick was not one of them. Perhaps that goes without saying: he always does what his masters tell him, and his masters are the Labour whips, not Prestonians. So his failure to act in the interests of the country and his constituency is not a surprise.

But the terms in which he did so are remarkable. He doesn’t often speak in the Chamber, but he did so last night. You can read what he had to say in Hansard, and watch him at parliamentlive.tv He protests that he accepts the referendum result (although his speech makes it clear that he still doesn’t, really – just listen to it) but says “the Leave campaign told a pack of lies”. Extraordinary! I’d like him to substantiate that slur, and the implicit slur on those of us who he thinks fell for these “lies” and who he thinks will come to what he thinks are our senses some time in 2019.

To finish, the magnificent seven are Ronnie Campbell, Frank Field, Kate Hoey, Kelvin Hopkins, John Mann, Dennis Skinner, and Graham Stringer. (source: The Sun)

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Save the Dinner Lady

I didn’t attend the UK against Hate march in Manchester recently. But Rachel Booth did, and was suspended from her job as a dinner lady at Moor Nook Primary School as a result. I have signed a petition to Suzanne Clough, Headmistress at Moor Nook, asking for Rachel to be reinstated and for an apology to be made to her and to her children, some of whom attend Moor Nook School. I hope you will sign it, too.

Update at 8 o’clock, Thursday evening: