The Standards Procedure system is deeply flawed, and reform is long overdue.
However the amendment voted on did not seek to exonerate or excuse Owen Paterson.
Because the amendment delays rather than cancels any decision on his case.
I supported the amendment because of this and the opportunity to improve the system is available now.
I accept that the timing and optics are not good but the system is still wrong and I would not stand by if one of my constituents was being treated like this.
I don’t believe that it will make any difference to Owen Paterson and I would still have voted for this if it had been a Labour or any other MP.
I spoke briefly in the debate saying:-
“Once again, we are seeing this become partisan and we are examining the cases of the individual. But for me, the key thing that is not right is that even the Commissioner is in an impossible position and therefore we desperately need to reform the system that puts the staff in that place.”
I understand there is a considerable variety of media versions of the debate, however it is important to state that this is the first time we have seen the Commissioner for Standards being called out and I believe we should certainly investigate what happened even if it means delaying the suspension for three months.
A system of regulation which is so flawed that we have national coverage with cries of foul seriously needs to be looked into.
If you would like to watch the debate in full you can do so by following the link below to Parliament Live TV, where my intervention took place at 14:18:40.