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Green Party smears against Paul Blomfield MP

April 13, 2015

You may have seen a recent Green Party leaflet which has been put through letter-boxes. The leaflet attempts to smear Paul, implying he is an absentee MP and imputing to him political views he does not hold. The smear tactic may have some traction. A constituent wrote to Paul as follows:

“Dear Paul ,
Can you tell me if the claims in The Sheffield Green Party Newspaper re your absence at key votes i.e. the cuts in January , the vote on Trident and on fracking are true , and if so what was the reason ?”

Here is Paul’s very clear and impressive reply. You may find it useful on the doorstep or in conversation.

“Thanks for your note. No they’re not true and I’m really angry about the deliberate misrepresentation. I’d got used to it last time from Scriven, but hoped for better from Jillian and will be raising it with her. I was absent from the Commons on 13 January as I was on Parliamentary delegation to Stockholm as Vice Chair of a cross-party Inquiry on Immigration Detention, on which you can see more here: http://detentioninquiry.com/2015/03/03/time-for-a-time-limit-parliamentarians-call-for-a-28-day-maximum-time-limit-on-immigration-detention-to-be-introduced/

I was in the Commons on 20 January, but abstained in the vote which was a bit of party game-playing by the SNP. However, as Jillian knows, I have spoken against Trident renewal locally and made by position clear in Parliament on many occasions, for example in this Early Day Motion.

I was also in the Commons on 26 January, but again abstained as part of a successful move by our Labour frontbench to secure a major Government reversal on fracking. Labour tabled 14 amendments to the Infrastructure Bill, which were prepared with Friends of the Earth and supported by organisations from the RSPB and the National Trust, to the Local Government Association and Unite and the GMBs. These amendments covered independent inspection of well integrity, mandatory monitoring for fugitive emissions, a presumption against development in protected areas such as National Parks and mandatory baseline assessments of methane in the groundwater, among other issues. Together the amendments represent a comprehensive approach, drawing together scientific evidence to bring coherence to the UK’s regulatory framework. In what the Guardian hailed as a major u-turn, the Government were forced to accept these amendments, having previously declared itself to be going ‘all out’ for shale gas development. I was really pleased that we stopped David Cameron’s ‘dash for gas’ in this way, and do not agree that the moratorium on shale gas exploration that was proposed by some campaigners would have been as strong a position to have adopted – the moratorium mentioned in Jillian’s leaflet was a temporary measure without any protections. Having abstained from the vote on the Bill, thereby allowing it to pass, Labour ensured that these robust regulatory conditions and protections became part of the Bill. However, when the Infrastructure Bill returned to the House of Lords, the Government weakened a number of the protections Labour had secured. We subsequently made it clear that we will not allow fracking without these protections in place.
Thanks again for getting in touch on this. I’m really disappointed that Jillian is putting out this sort of stuff – I had thought we both shared the view that politics needed to be conducted more honestly.”

Best wishes

Paul Blomfield
Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Sheffield Central Constituency

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