Monday, 13 February 2017

Christina Rees criticised for the wrong reasons

The Neath MP is blameworthy, but not for the uninformed criticism there has been recently on local Facebook groups such as this one.

"We don't know who she is." Ms Rees has an informative blog which is updated frequently, unlike her predecessor's.

"She should use her position to influence the county council". It is not for central government, let alone MPs to tell councillors how to carry out the tasks they are responsible for. That smacks of dictatorship and there is already too much of it, from both Labour in Cardiff and the Tories in Westminster. Councillors answer to us, the local electors, and we have a chance to make them do that in the campaign for this spring's council elections.

"We don't see her around the constituency." I know that Ms Rees is involved with several local groups, especially to do with women in sport.

Besides, MPs represent the interests of their electors and of the country as a whole in the capital. Ms Rees is one of the most assiduous attenders of the Commons chamber - to see her, just tune into BBC Parliament most sitting days, not just during the show-place events like prime minister's question time.

Ms Rees is rather to be blamed for a lack of principle. She followed her "leader", Jeremy Corbyn, in voting with the Conservative government to give up on European solidarity, even though she had previously publicly campaigned for "Remain". Supporters will no doubt claim that she was showing party loyalty - but then she had voted for Owen Smith (a Remainer) in the last Labour leadership election, saying "it has become clear over recent weeks that Jeremy Corbyn has lost the support of our party and his Parliamentary group".

Like most of the parliamentary Labour Party, it is hard to know what she and Mr Corbyn stand for any more.

1 comment:

Stan said...

I'd second most of these comments, Frank. I'm not a regular in Neath Town Centre but have actually seen Ms Rees in Windsor Road, unlike her predecessor.

She is trying hard, fair play, but she now looks a hypocrite, voicing support for Corbyn and calling for unity in the Labour Party, yet resigning last June because Corbyn had lost the PLP. Has he found it again then?

But Ms Rees has made a grave error of judgment, IMHO, by employing her future son-in-law in the Neath office. There are questions she needs to answer about the recruitment process that took place. I am setting these out fully in my next STaN blog (not meant to be an advert - apologies). We expect cronyism and nepotism in all walks of life, but when we are dealing with the public sector, it's important for the public to have transparency about how public money is being committed to employment of staff. We haven't had it from Stephen Kinnock in his employment of Peter Hain's former Office manager i.e. Was the post advertised? Were interviews carried out? Ms Rees has the opportunity to show Kinnock up here, and provide the public with assurances that IPSA procedures have been followed to the letter.