We’ve lived in Shipston-on-Stour since 2004. Shipston’s in South Warwickshire, in the constituency of Stratford-on-Avon, which, thanks to its MP, is currently much in the news.
When we first moved here, John Maples was our MP – Baron Maples he eventually became. He was a Tory but he would turn up for speech days and debates at my school. We knew him well.
He stood down at the 2010 general election and, since then, we’ve had Nadhim Zahawi – he was Chancellor for a few weeks under Boris Johnson and now Chairman of the Conservative Party and Minister without Portfolio. At least, he was until the prime minister finally sacked him on Sunday.
He’s quite different.
I write to him regularly but all I ever get is the usual reply.
When Zahawi was elected, we always knew that we wouldn’t see much of him, because of his extensive business interests. But he hasn’t improved the place so far. We’ve lost our hospital and now we have to go to Warwick or Coventry, both an hour away, at least.
And this last couple of weeks, he’s been all over the news – and not in a good way. It turns out he’s been fined by the Inland Revenue for unpaid taxes while he was Chancellor of the Exchequer. He’s had to pay HMRC £5mn in total, the unpaid taxes plus the penalty. And he denied it the whole time, had the cheek to accuse everyone of smearing him. SLAPP suits everywhere.
Seven breaches of the ministerial code, apparently. Seven times he should have told Johnson or Sunak or whoever happened to be prime minister about the HMRC investigation. Seven times he didn’t.
What a mess we have as our MP. He should stand down.