Thank God a politician who sticks to his word
Date: 13th January 2011
Subject: Freedom Association praises local MP
The Freedom Association, a non-partisan nation organisation dedicated to fighting for individual liberty and freedom of expression, has praised local MP, Gordon Henderson, for defying Government whips and supporting an amendment tabled by veteran Eurosceptic, Bill Cash MP, that would have emphasised the sovereignty of Parliament.
Mr Henderson was one of 27 Conservative Members of Parliament who rebelled against the Government during a debate on Clause 18 of the European Union Bill. It was the Government’s intention that Clause 18 would confirm that EU law only takes effect in the UK as a result of the existence of an Act of Parliament.
Tory rebels thought that the Clause did not make clear Parliament’s sovereignty and tried to add to the Clause’s title the words “The sovereignty of the United Kingdom Parliament in relation to EU law is hereby reaffirmed.”, but the amendment was subsequently defeated by the Government by 314 votes to 39.
Mr Henderson said: “I actually had no problem with the Government’s Clause 18 and was originally minded to support it. However, I changed my mind when ministers refused to accept what I thought was a perfectly sensible amendment to the Clause’s title, which simply sought to make absolutely clear that it is the UK Parliament that decides British laws, not the European Union.”
The Freedom Association’s spokesman, Stephen Hoffman, said: “We were very thankful that Gordon voted for Bill Cash’s tabled amendment to the European Union Bill. We know this took a lot of courage, due to the vote being subject to a three-line whip. Gordon’s support for the cause of sovereignty in Parliament is greatly appreciated.”
Mr Henderson added: “Defying a three-line did not take courage. I promised my constituents that I would put their interests before party politics. This was not the first time I have voted against the Government and I am sure it will not be the last. I think the whips understand that already!”