Thank you for contacting me about standards in public life.
I did not vote in the House of Commons Standards Committee motion as I was attending COP26, although I thought that the report clearly showed that Owen Paterson was engaged in paid advocacy. I support the principle of reforming the process and feel that Members of Parliament, like any of my constituents, should have a right of appeal in an employment disciplinary matter. In addition, House disciplinary matters should not be subject to a party Whip.
Following the tragic suicide of his wife, I have enormous personal sympathy for my former colleague, Owen Paterson, and wish him the best in his future endeavours. I think this sympathy may have clouded the views of some colleagues.
I have always supported the ethos of transparency as a Member of Parliament and the fact that we are able to discuss MPs’ outside remuneration is testament to the high level of publicly-available information. Ultimately it allows you, the voters, to judge.
I am confident that these matters will continue to be discussed at great length, but my absolute priority will be to represent the people of West Worcestershire to the best of my ability and for that reason I do not undertake any outside paid interests.