Following this morning's A&E protest at Weston General Hospital today, John Penrose MP, issued a statement (See image below) about why he could not attend the protest to save Weston General's A&E.
He says "all MPs must be permanently present" at parliament because there is a hung parliament. This is a poor excuse.
MPs are elected to represent their constituency, Mr. Penrose has made it clear in this that he places Party before his electors and other constituents by not attending today's protest and subsequent Weston Area Health Trust Board meeting.
If you look back through Mr. Penrose's voting record you will find that he always votes with the party whip even when that whipped vote is not in the interests of the majority of his constituents.
But leaving that aside what was so important today that he felt he "had" to stay in London (which is where he and his family live)
Well today, like any other Tuesday in the House of Commons, the planned and posted times of the sitting are 1130 to 1930, they rarely start early, and often run late.
This is todays House of Commons Orders, https://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmagenda/OP170704.pdf
So Mr. Penrose (as a "constituency MP") obviously must have felt he had an opportunity to ask the Health Secretary a question at 1130 in "Health Questions" on the downgrading of Weston General A&E....no but wait, look, he's not listed amongst the 24 MPs asking Health questions in the early part of the Sitting today.
The Day's Agenda and list of Questions is here https://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmagenda/OP170704.pdf . You'll note other MPs managed to ask questions about their local NHS issues. Have you Mr. Penrose? Will you Mr. Penrose?
So on the day that our A&E faces it's first Overnight Closure, a Day where there was an opportunity to directly and publicly question The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, in the House of Commons he has failed to either ask this most important question for his constituents, and failed to turn up at Weston General Hospital to support his Constituents when they needed him.
Were you in the House today Mr. Penrose? Unfortunately we cannot see the attendance until tomorrow's Hansard is published. We shall be looking and seeing how you contributed to the business of the House today in the interests of your constituents