Outrage as North Shropshire MP accused of abuse of Parliamentary Standards

Helen Morgan selected as Lib Dem PPC for North Shropshire

Owen Paterson, the MP for North Shropshire, has been accused by The Guardian of lobbying on behalf of firms from which he also receives a salary.

Revealed: Owen Paterson lobbied for firms he was paid to advise

The Guardian newspaper claims it has seen documents revealing he had several meetings with officials and a minister, and that he also wrote letters asking them to take steps which would benefit healthcare firm Randox Laboratories and Lynn’s Country Foods Limited. Mr Paterson receives a salary of £100k per year for 16 hours a month from Randox, while Lynn’s Country Foods Limited pays him £12,000 per year for 24 hours work in total.

The newspaper also claims that Mr Paterson has twice used House of Commons notepaper to write to ministers in his capacity as a Randox employee, in breach of the rules. Furthermore, it alleges that Mr Paterson was involved in a sustained year-long lobbying campaign on behalf of Lynn’s Country Foods Limited in which the Company sought to persuade the Food Standards Agency to change its labelling requirements.

These allegations follow demands for an inquiry earlier this year into the source of funding for Mr Paterson’s overseas trips after £39,000 of donations were anonymously routed through a company of which he was the only director.

Speaking for North Shropshire Liberal Democrats, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Helen Morgan said:

“If true, these allegations are hugely disappointing and add to the long list of scandals from this Government. The Tories don’t seem to care about ordinary people trying to make ends meet – they are only interested in making money for themselves and their billionaire backers.

“North Shropshire needs an MP that is honest and is working hard, full time, for the constituency, not using their public position to demand £500 an hour from private companies. If elected, I promise to work full time for a bright future for this beautiful part of the countryside.”

North Shropshire Lib Dems PPC condemns plan to Prorogue Parliament

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Helen Morgan, North Shropshire Lib Dems PPC condemns plan to Prorogue Parliament.

‘I am angry and dismayed at the Government’s decision to prevent Parliamentary debate for five weeks in October. The United Kingdom faces its greatest crisis since 1945, and eight weeks before a disastrous crash-out Brexit, the Government is tying Parliament’s hands, hell-bent on driving this country over a cliff-edge.

‘To suggest that this closure is just a few additional days after the conference recess is simply not true. Parliament decides for itself whether it will have a recess, and it was becoming increasingly likely that it would be cancelled. The debate over the summer has focussed on the possibilities of using this arcane mechanism to force a crash-out Brexit, and this is clearly a cynical attempt to achieve just that.

‘The British Constitution is based on precedent and has relied for hundreds of years on the decency of the government not to abuse the accepted principles of a sovereign Parliament. Boris Johnson has proved his disrespect for the institution by trampling on these principles. He sets a dangerous precedent. If this goes ahead, any future minority government could simply close the doors of Parliament to push through unacceptable legislation.

‘Furthermore, on Sunday morning, Michael Gove refused to confirm that the Government would abide by any legislation passed by Parliament in the coming week. This is a truly unacceptable state of affairs, in which a referendum result of over three years ago, procured by lies and corruption, is used to justify the elimination of Parliamentary democracy in the United Kingdom.

‘On Friday afternoon, I spoke to a large rally in Shrewsbury to voice my opposition to the prorogation. The Liberal Democrats will continue to fight these developments, and fight to uphold the sovereignty of Parliament in the UK.’

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Helen Morgan selected as Lib Dem PPC for North Shropshire

Helen Morgan selected as Lib Dem PPC for North Shropshire

Helen Morgan selected as Lib Dem PPC (Prospective Parliamentary Candidate) for North Shropshire by Members at a packed meeting in Wem. Members at a well-attended meeting in Wem voted to select Helen as their PPC.

LIB DEMS CHOOSE DYNAMIC CANDIDATE TO FIGHT ELECTION

Helen Morgan, a Chartered Accountant, mother and community campaigner has been selected by local North Shropshire Liberal Democrat members as their candidate to fight the next General Election. Helen Morgan, who lives with her young family in Harmer Hill works for a prominent North Shropshire business as their accountant.

Helen Morgan selected as Lib Dem PPC for North Shropshire
Helen Morgan selected as Lib Dem PPC for North Shropshire

Speaking about her selection Helen said:

“I am delighted that members have selected me to be their Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the next General Election. The General Election could happen in a matter of weeks. Both the Conservative and Labour parties are gripped by crises and infighting.

“Not only is Brexit likely to be a disaster for North Shropshire, it has led to increasing extremism in British politcs, with trust in politicians at a historic low.  Many voters feel that the two main parties of the past century no longer reflect their values.

“We need politicians who will act in the interests of their constituency and country, whose standards of behaviour are civilised, whose motivations are not clouded by personal ambition or financial gain, and whose opinions withstand rational challenge. I can meet these standards, and with the positiive message of the Liberal Democrats, inspire voters of all ages, defend our liberal values and make a difference at a local and national level.

“Under Jo Swinson’s leadership, I believe that the Liberal Democrats are strongly placed to respond to the needs of the country and more locally in Shropshire. Britain rightly demands better than the mess we are in.”

David Walker, Chair of North Shropshire Liberal Democrats, said:

“The Liberal Democrats are surging nationally and locally with booming membership levels following our best ever Local Election and European Election results. In North Shropshire, our membership has grown by over 44% since the beginning of May. In Shropshire, we came 2nd in the European Elections and returned Phil Bennion to the European Parliament.

“In local council by-elections up and down the country Lib Dems are gaining seats with massive swings from the Conservatives. We were leading in one national opinion poll and are consistently now on a par with the old parties. The recent addition of Chuka Umunna and victory in Brecon and Radnorshire shows that the Liberal Democrats are also back in the game at Parliamentary level.

“We are overjoyed to have such a high calibre PPC as Helen to take on the Conservatives at the next General Election. For far too long the electors of North Shropshire have been taken for granted at local and parliamentary level. Helen will allow us to build upon our growth and campaign for the open and fair society we all need and demand.

“People are working hard, paying their taxes, doing their part, and yet, for far far too many people, they’re not able to get a fair wage, afford a home or generally build a good life. That’s not how it should be.

“We will be the voice for millions of voters who feel powerless and frustrated at the direction our country is taking. The Liberal Democrats demand better and will deliver real change. Helen will have a critical role to play in delivering that change.”

Phil Bennion MEP and Helen Morgan at a recent talk to members in Market Drayton
Phil Bennion MEP and Helen Morgan at a recent talk to members in Market Drayton

Farmer and MEP Dr Phil Bennion said:

“I am delighted by Helen’s selection as Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for North Shropshire.

“Brexit has caused the biggest crisis in our politics since the war and a general election this autumn is very possibly the only way we are going to break the impasse which is paralysing our government. Thousands of people who never thought of themselves as political before are now joining us, hundreds in Shropshire alone.

“Helen has experience and commitment and understands the perspective of ordinary North Shropshire people who do not buy into the extreme Brexit ideology for which their current MP has become a high priest.

“I am convinced that Owen Paterson’s faith in a no deal Brexit, which is not what he promised in the two debates I had with him during the referendum, is not shared by a majority of his constituents. They stand to lose so much from local disruption to agriculture and trade.

“With Labour hopelessly split, Helen offers a serious challenge as the leading candidate for Remain.”

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