Sharon Hodgson MP: Whilst Brexit debate rages on we must all respect one another

On Wednesday last week, the Prime Minister addressed the nation about Brexit.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 28 March, 2019, 08:26
Prime Minister Theresa May giving a statement about Brexit. Picture by PA

After two years, the Prime Minister has failed to negotiate a deal with the EU that protects workers’ rights, environmental regulations or our economy.

The Prime Minister’s deal has been overwhelmingly rejected by Parliament more than once.

During her Downing Street Statement, the Prime Minister tried to place the blame for this on MPs.

But it is not MPs who are to blame. She is.

The national debate on Brexit at the moment is very tense.

My colleagues and I have received many abusive and threatening messages, just for doing our job.

That the Prime Minister should fan the flames of this hatred against elected politicians is extremely dangerous, and demeans the office of the Prime Minister.

Following the speech, the Government then spent tens of thousands of pounds promoting clips of the Prime Minister’s speech on Facebook, alongside the caption “I am on your side”.

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If the Prime Minister was on your side, her Government wouldn’t have cut funding for our schools so much that teachers have to use their own money to pay for essentials such as books and pencils; our NHS wouldn’t be in crisis, with 2.8 million people waiting for 4 hours or longer in A&E in 2017/18, compared to just over 350,000 in 2009/10; and our country wouldn’t be facing a knife crime crisis, with police numbers slashed by 21,000.

Instead of attempting to bully and blackmail MPs, the Prime Minister should listen to the thoughts, opinions and concerns of MPs, so that we can effectively represent our constituents.

The North East is my home, I was born here, I brought my children up here, I lived through the dark days of Thatcherism and its impact on our region, and I consider myself lucky every day to represent such a fantastic constituency and people.

I respect the result of the referendum, and welcome hearing from all of my constituents on this.

However, I do not accept that anyone has the right to be abusive or threatening to my parliamentary colleagues and I.

Whatever you think about what is going on in Westminster, I would ask you to appreciate that I only ever do what I think is in the best interests of my constituents on this and all matters.

Whilst the Brexit debate rages on, we must all respect one another and ensure the tone is kept amicable.

The Prime Minister would do well to remember that in the days and weeks to come.