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Saturday, 24 October 2009

Labour Government fail Equitable Life policy holders

I appreciate that neither the Government nor the main Opposition Party are going to want to be seen supporting a Liberal Democrats Opposition day debate or motion, however, the two topics that Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats chose have only highlighted the sheer hypocricy on the other benches.

Back in 2001 when I worked for Vince Cable as his Parliamentary Researcher the Equitable Life story broke and Vince's inbox and intray just filled and filled up with heartbreaking correspondence from people who had lost everything.

Every time Vince got up and spoke in a debate or in one of his many Adjournment Debates or even just a series of Parliamentary Questions people wrote in, emailed and telephoned, in their hundreds and thousands (I kid you not, ask the rest of Vince's team) with more stories.

This is a topic Vince has never let go since then, every year Vince has kept fighting for the Equitable Life policy holders and in May this year Tabled another Early Day Motion, number 1423 this time, the text of the Motion is below;

That this House notes the Parliamentary Ombudsman has taken the unusual step of using powers under the 1967 Act to present Parliament with a further and final report on Equitable Life; also notes that the Public Administration Select Committee's second report on Equitable Life, Justice denied? concluded that the Government response to the Parliamentary Ombudsman's report was inadequate as a remedy for injustice; recognises the vital role the Ombudsman plays in public life; reaffirms the duty of Parliament to support the office of the Ombudsman; believes the Government should accept the recommendations of the Ombudsman on compensating policyholders who have suffered loss; welcomes the formation of the All-Party Group on Justice for Equitable Life Policyholders; and notes with regret its necessary formation and the fact that over 30,000 people have already died waiting for a just resolution to this saga.

As you will see from the very last line over 30,000 policy holders have died in the time the Labour Government has been dealing (badly) with this issue.

342 MPs signed Vince Cable's EDM 1423 in May 2009 and yet just five months later many of those turned their backs on the very same policy holders they claim they are on the side of and defeated the Liberal Democrats motion this week.

The Motion was defeated by just 25 votes.

Of the 342 who signed the Motion in May, 79 then voted against the Liberal Democrats Motion this week, however one of those 79, Derek Wyatt was actually one of the 6 proposers of EDM 1423.

So, yes those 79 who were supportive of the EDM could have voted Aye with the Liberal Democrats and not only defeated the Government but much, much more importantly than that, they could have stood up for the Equitable Life policy holders - not only should they be ashamed of themselves they are nothing more than hypocrites, and they are;

Derek Wyatt (Labour - Sittingbourne & Sheppey), Diane Abbott (Labour - Hackney North and Stoke Newington), Nick Ainger (Labour - Carmarthen West & South Pembrokeshire), David Anderson (Labour - Blaydon), Janet Anderson Labour - Rossendale and Darwen), Charlotte Atkins (Labour - Staffordshire Moorlands), Hugh Bayley (Labour - City of York), Anne Begg (Labour - Aberdeen South), Roger Berry (Labour - Kingswood), David S Borrow (Labour - South Ribble), Richard Burden (Labour - Birmingham Northfield), Colin Burgon (Labour - Elmet), Richard Caborn (Labour - Sheffield Central), David Cairns (Labour - Inverclyde), Ronnie Campbell (Labour - Blyth Valley), Colin Challen (Labour - Morley & Rothwell), Ben Chapman (Labour - Wirral South), Michael Clapham (Labour - Barnsley West & Penistone), Katy Clark (Labour - Ayrshire North & Arran), Tom Clarke (Labour - Coatbridge, Chryston & Bellshill), Michael Connarty (Labour - Linlithgow & Falkirk East), Frank Cook (Labour - Stockton North), David Crausby (Labour - Bolton North East), Ann Cryer (Labour - Keighley), John Cummings (Labour - Easington), Jim Cunningham (Labour - Coventry South), Janet Dean (Labour - Burton), Jim Dobbin (Labour - Heywood & Middleton), Frank Dobson (Labour - Holborn & St. Pancras), Bill Etherington (Labour - Sunderland North), Mark Fisher (Labour - Stoke-on-Trent Central), Hywel Francis (Labour - Aberavon), Mike Gapes (Labour - Ilford South), Neil Gerrard (Labour - Walthamstow), Roger Godsiff (Labour - Birmingham, Sparkbrook & Small Heath), David Hamilton (Labour - Midlothian), Fabian Hamilton (Labour - North East Leeds), Tom Harris (Labour - Glasgow South), Doug Henderson (Labour - Newcastle upon Tyne North), Stephen Hepburn (Labour - Jarrow), Stephen Hesford (Labour - Wirral West), David Heyes (Labour - Ashton-under-Lyne), George Howarth (Labour - Knowsley North & Sefton East), Kim Howells (Labour - Pontypridd), Joan Humble (Labour - Blackpool North & Fleetwood), Eric Illsley (Labour - Barnsley Central), Brian Jenkins (Labour - Tamworth), Martyn Jones (Labour - Clwyd South), Gerald Kaufman (Labour - Manchester, Gorton), Sally Keeble (Labour - Northampton North), Ashok Kumar (Labour - Middlesbrough South & East Cleveland), Bob Laxton (Labour - Derby North), Martin Linton (Labour - Battersea), Andrew Love (Labour - Edmonton), Chris McCafferty (Labour - Calder Valley), Andrew Miller (Labour - Ellesmere Port & Neston), Elliot Morley (Labour - Scunthorpe), Paul Murphy (Labour - Torfaen), Bill Olner (Labour - Nuneaton), Sandra Osborne (Labour - Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock), James Plaskitt (Labour - Warwick & Leamington), Greg Pope (Labour - Hyndburn), Gwyn Prosser (Labour - Dover), Linda Riordan (Labour - Halifax), Geoffrey Robinson (Labour - Coventry North West), Joan Ryan (Labour - Enfield North), Martin Salter (Labour - Reading West), Marsha Singh (Labour - Bradford West), Andy Slaughter (Labour - Ealing, Acton & Shepherd's Bush), Angela C Smith (Labour - Sheffield Hillsborough), Geraldine Smith (Labour - Morecambe & Lunesdale), Peter Soulsby (Labour - Leicester South), Howard Stoate (Labour - Dartford), Graham Stringer (Labour - Manchester, Blackley), Dari Taylor (Labour - Stockton South), David Taylor (Labour - North West Leicestershire), Desmond Turner (Labour - Brighton, Kemptown) and Joan Walley (Labour - Stoke-on-Trent North).

All 79 of these MPs are Labour MPs and if you live in their constituency, I would urge you to conatct them to ask why they are being hypocritical on this extremely important matter?

Use to contact them, it is really easy to use.

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