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Matt Bush
I like good things
I like good things

Matt's posts

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I wrote to my MP asking if she'd stand down now she campaigned heavily for Brexit but 63% of her constituents voted Remain. Interestingly a petition has now been started for her to stand down, 2000+ signatures already

Dear Mr Bush ,

Thank you for your email regarding the European Union (EU) referendum.

As I am sure you will appreciate, following recent events I have been contacted by a large number of constituents on both sides. Below I have tried to address all the concerns and questions that I have received to ensure that you have a full and informative response. However, I would like to take this time to thank you for writing to me with your personal views and comments, all of which I have read.

As you will now know, I voted and campaigned to leave the EU. I, along with all constituents, had a single vote in the referendum and I voted for what I believe is in the interest of the country.

I note that many people have said that my view is not representative of the majority of people who voted in my constituency, however, it was up to each individual to decide how they wished to vote, including Members of Parliament. You will be aware that for the referendum, the Prime Minister lifted collective responsibility and so all MPs, including Ministers, voted and campaigned based on their own personal views in the same way as members of the public. I hope that you had the chance to place your vote.

As with all votes, it would have been impossible for a Member of Parliament to vote only in the way in which their constituents requested them to – members of the public have a variety of views and opinions and it would be impossible to take them all into account when voting. Indeed, over 32,000 of my constituents agree with my vote, and neighbouring towns such as Watford (part of which is in my constituency but not included in these figures) voted to leave. Looking at the figures, I also note that my vote was in tune with Hertfordshire as a whole.

When an individual voted, they were not voting for or against any party or MP, but instead a cross-party campaign. Indeed, my vote was not a mandate from myself to St Albans. I was elected on a pro-referendum, Eurosceptic platform as recently as a year ago, and have always been happy to share my views on this topic.

Whilst I understand you are disappointed in my vote, this was a rightly made by the public and not just MPs. I have been pleased to discuss this very important matter with many of my constituents who have fully engaged both sides of the debate. I campaigned on the market stall in St Albans and have been approached by many constituents in a variety of ways who wished to discuss and express their opinion. For many weekends prior to the referendum, there was also a Remain stall, and I was pleased that the information available to local residents was balanced and clear.

I strongly believe in democracy, and when making decisions as fundamentally important as the constitution the country must come first. If all MPs who voted differently to the majority of their constituents were to step down from their position, a large proportion would have to resign including some of those who voted to remain. Indeed, only 24% of MPs backed leaving the EU. This referendum had a high turnout and I believe that democracy has spoken. As such, I cannot support another referendum, as I know many people have suggested. This is a view I would have held regardless of the result, and it is now the job of the government to deliver the will of the people.

I do not accept that too little information was made available to the public prior to their vote. I was involved in the hustings in St Albans which discussed both sides of the referendum arguments, pieces in the Herts Advertiser and, as I mentioned, market stalls. This topic was featured at length for many weeks in the national media and there were TV debates featuring many different individuals from both sides of the debate. A number of leaflets were also put out also, including those funded by both campaigns and the taxpayer.

Some people have asked for my views on the Conservative Party leadership and, as you will know, the Prime Minister has decided to resign his position. I do believe he recognised that, given his defence of the European Union, it would not be good for the stability of the country for him to be the one to negotiate our exit deal. We do not know at this point who will be in the leadership contest, however, I believe that we need a pragmatic approach going forward. It is the MPs’ job to whittle down the candidates to two people, after which it will be given to the Conservative Party members to vote on. I am confident that plenty of interviews and airtime will be given to the candidates so that members can make an informed decision.

I understand concerns regarding the recent market turbulence - this was anticipated following a vote to leave and I am confident it will settle down in the coming weeks. Exiting the EU is a complicated process and will, of course, take time as new laws and regulations are put in place and we take back control of our democracy. It will not be a quick process, however I believe it will be a slow and gradual disentanglement process.

For those who have asked questions about specific policy areas, I would reassure you that there will be no immediate changes and the UK will be a member of the EU for at least a further two years. As more information becomes available, please do contact me with questions or your views about any policy decisions.

Finally, I am of course aware of national reports of increased racist behaviour. I do not think anyone would endorse this xenophobic, disgraceful attitude and I do not accept that there is any excuse for it. I fully condemn this in the strongest possible way – no matter which side of the debate you’re on, we need to treat each other with civility and respect. I have been in contact with the local Police and Crime Commissioner to discuss these national reports and would urge anyone who witnesses such behaviour to report it.

I understand that some have been disappointed with my view, however I believe it would be foolish for the government to ignore the wishes of the country following an unprecedented democratic referendum.

Thank you again for taking the time to write to me.

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Muhammad Ali's greatest quotes: 'I'm so mean I make medicine sick'

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Time spent online 'overtakes TV' among youngsters - BBC News via @nuzzel

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What is this?

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Eldest thinks it's funny I'm "very Dad"

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Incredible weekend riding with Team Sky and iProspect in Mallorca. Chris Froome and Dave Bralisford are top, genuine guys, and they put us through our paces!
26 Photos - View album

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Fab night at Bigger Bounce Ball raising money for Breast Cancer charity

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Worth 8 minutes if you love music, excellent interviews with the 3 behind the hit of the summer and how new music is made now. Bieber comes out well
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