Disappointment today, fans of honest Parliamentary representation.
I wrote to the Speaker of the House of Commons (who presides over debates) and to the Parliamentary Commission for Standards, asking them to investigate Mr. Uppal's false statement in Parliament.
The PCS tell me that 'conduct in the Chamber is a matter for the Speaker'. Ian Davis, 'Mr Speaker's Trainbearer' (this is all getting a bit Gilbert and Sullivan) writes that 'Mr Speaker has asked me to point out that it is not the role of the Speaker to verify statements made in the Chamber, as each individual Member of Parliament is responsible for his or her own words'.
This is all very unsatisfactory. The Trainbearer is wrong - I didn't ask the Speaker to verify Mr Uppal's words, I asked him to investigate an occasion on which the heart of democracy in this country was either misled or lied to. But it seems that an MP can tell and untruth to our elected representative without any fear of sanction from anybody.
Of course, in a proper democracy, the fearless press - in this case the Express and Star - would keep an eye on the local MPs, reporting their every action and holding them to account. But as the paper in question is a cynical, badly-funded collection of press releases and racist ranting with a slavish and unquestioning devotion to the outer reaches of Conservative 'thought', I don't think we can expect much from it other than fawning, forelock-tugging adoration for Uppal. Scrutiny is, I fear, out of the question.
Any suggestions about how to pursue this? There's no point writing to the Conservative Party whips - they're interested in power, not honesty.