The behaviour we have seen from the Prime Minister, his staff and other members of the Conservative Government in recent weeks and months has given great cause for concern, but the revelations yesterday from William Wragg MP at the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee shocked me to the core.
I have seen the Conservative Whip in play locally so I am well used to the pressure that is put on members to attend meetings and to vote in a particular way, and I have seen plenty of examples where projects might be promised or positions granted in return for support. I find this unsavoury but accept that it is the way that your Party operates.
However, the suggestion that projects that have already been granted funding would be under threat of withdrawal is utterly reprehensible. I would have expected that those schemes will have been subject to funding bids and will have been assessed according to need and public benefit. Assuming that they were granted appropriately, the suggestion that they might be withdrawn if a member failed to show loyalty for the party would be a gross betrayal of the residents of a community. That money is for their benefit and comes from the public purse.
I understand that you are one of the Conservative Whips and I am writing to seek your written assurance that you have NEVER made such threats. I accept that your loyalty to the Prime Minister is absolute but your integrity and honour must go deeper than this and I am calling on you to distance yourself from this appalling behaviour and call for the Prime Minister to go. I can see no benefit to Mr Wragg for fabricating this allegation - after all it reflects badly on the whole of your political party - and if you stay silent about what you have witnessed, and the behaviour of the prime minister you will be damaged. I would therefore ask you to consider your position as a Whip and speak publicly about what you intend to do to restore public faith in Parliament, and in particular the Government.
You will be fully aware that I am not a supporter of this Government and your Party, but I know that every scandal that emanates from Westminster will have a negative impact on voters, and therefore are damaging to democracy. I know that, like me, you regard politics as an honourable profession and I am sure you would not want to cause further disillusionment.
I therefore look forward to hearing from you and would ask that you treat this urgently - every day that passes with your silence will cause more damage.