Saturday, 12 October 2013

The best of MPs

David Heath, MP for Somerton and Frome, has announced that he will not stand for election to parliament again. He is only 59, but felt that 30 years in Westminster was enough. In his statement, he says that he promised his wife in 2010 that this would be his last term. So it is not the result of a fit of pique at being sacked from government.

It is a pity that Mr Heath will be remembered for initiating the badger cull, and not for his work as deputy Leader of the House. Sir George Young and he made a great team, I thought. Sir George was urbanity personified at the despatch box, while Mr Heath piloted through the Commons a whole slew of legislation reforming the business of the House, with wit and only occasional glimpses of exasperation. He also started work on recall and on the West Lothian question which has sunk without trace since he was promoted to DEFRA.

As one of a vanishing breed, someone who earned an honest crust - and in a technical job, too - before going into politics, Mr Heath's departure is doubly regretted.

No comments: