Angus Cllr Ben Lawrie and Aberdeenshire candidate John Waddell are calling on newly elected Tory MPs in the North East to stand up for the rights of their constituents, even if it means falling out with their new DUP partners.
Ireland’s DUP has previously attacked progress made in Parliament over the rights of women, the LGBT community, and environmental regulations. Following an agreement made in Westminster today that the DUP and the Conservative Party will join forces to keep Theresa May in Number 10, concerns have been raised that Tory backbenchers will put their party before their constituents.
Cllr Lawrie said: “Many people in Monifieth and Sidlaw have raised concerns with me about the Tory’s deal with the DUP.
“The Conservatives actions in Westminster so far do not bode well for many in our communities who need strong local representatives and MPs who will put their constituents first.
“We are calling on every Conservative MP in the North East to come forward and pledge to put the rights of women, our LGBT community and environmental issues ahead of their party. That is the least that we should be able to expect from a new Member of Parliament.”
Mr Waddell, who stood in West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine against the Conservatives in the General Election, added: “When Theresa May warned of a Coalition of Chaos she neglected to mention that she intended to lead it.
“Mrs May has made it quite clear that the DUP’s record does not matter and that no price is too high to keep her in Number 10 but it would only take a few well-meaning rebels on the Conservative benches to stop the worst this government has to offer coming to pass.
“The Tory MPs in the North East were elected on a broad coalition of support in opposition to a second independence referendum, not a wholesale endorsement of their manifesto and certainly no endorsement of the 1950’s views of the DUP.
“It is not surprising that so many doubt whether any of our newly elected MPs will really have the courage take action when it is needed by challenging their party and the regressive and harmful policies of the DUP.”
The letters sent to the respective MPs;
Dear Kirstene Hair MP/Andrew Bowie MP,
Congratulations on being elected to the House of Commons as the MP for Angus/West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine on the 8th June.
As I’m sure you know, you were elected on a broad coalition of support from people of all parties, many whom had previously never voted Tory. This coalition came together tactically to stop a second independence referendum, not for the wholesale endorsement of The Conservative Party’s values or manifesto.
Since the election, in which your party failed to achieve an overall majority, the Conservatives have turned to the support of the Democratic Unionist Party. A party that has expressed views questioning the existence of climate change, worked to prevent LGBT+ equality and safe abortions for women.
The deal arranged by the Conservatives and DUP provides such a slim majority that you and only a small number of your colleagues could personally hold the balance of power in Parliament. I want your assurance that you will work to stop climate change and oppose any downgrading in our climate change objectives, and will personally work protect LGBT+ rights and women’s rights.