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Letter: Angela Richardson Stepped Down A Week Ago – Resignation Is Not A ‘Principled Stand’

Published on: 2 Feb, 2022
Updated on: 2 Feb, 2022

Angela Richardson’s statement

From: Sam Peters

Green Party candidate in the 2019 GBC and SCC elections

Looking at the news yesterday (February 1) would suggest Angela Richardson has made a principled stand in resigning her role as Michael Gove’s aide over the Partygate scandal, Sue Gray’s interim report and the criminal investigations into multiple government parties during lockdown.

The Daily Express has even given Guildford’s MP a retrospective promotion with the headline “Minister resigns and issues furious parting shot” (of course, parliamentary private secretaries are not ministers).

Unfortunately, it appears to me that this is not a principled resignation in disgust at the culture of law-breaking, and one rule for them, another for us thinking at No. 10 and across government departments. As Angela Richardson has said herself, she in fact stepped down last week to “invest more of my time realising the campaigns that I am working on [in my constituency]”.

The timing of this announcement, and its placing in the same Facebook statement as her response to the Sue Gray report, makes it appear to me that she is happy to fool her constituents into thinking this resignation is connected to the latest updates on the illegal parties. I can see no other reason an MP would wait a week to share the news that they’re resigning their position as a ministerial aide purportedly to focus on constituency work, only to include it in a statement on a report into government law-breaking she knew would be released soon.

Indeed, Richardson has refused to say whether she’ll be joining the call for Boris Johnson to resign, despite accepting that her constituents are right to feel let down, regardless of which exact details of the various government parties we still await.

As far as using her resignation as an opportunity to be more critical of the government, this is certainly not a good start.

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Responses to Letter: Angela Richardson Stepped Down A Week Ago – Resignation Is Not A ‘Principled Stand’

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    February 2, 2022 at 10:10 pm

    Those who meet met or work with our current MP will find out she, like her recent predecessors, is dedicated to helping constituents. Sue Doughty, Anne Milton and now Angelia Richardson were and are dedicated hard workers who want to make a difference and improve society.

    So as an apolitical, pain in the backside, cage rattler, I say stop the personal attacks on our current MP. She does not deserve or need them. She is in a cage of media vipers at Parliament and she is doing her best in very difficult times.

    • Sam Peters Reply

      February 6, 2022 at 9:14 am

      The “they’re doing their best” approach is fine for a children’s football match, but not for MPs who are supposed to represent hundreds of thousands of people at the highest level. There are plenty of principled, honest MPs who act and vote with integrity for the good of their constituency while also working directly with their constituents. I would argue we should both want and deserve an MP who will do both.

      If you believe voting to continue dumping sewage in our rivers; or refusing to oppose the £1000+ cut to Universal Credit at a time of soaring poverty and hunger across the UK and in Guildford; or breaking multiple election promises by voting for the social care cap amendment and the regressive NI increase which will hit the poorest hardest; or voting for the NHS “Corporate Takeover” bill which among other things replaces 18-week targets with 52-week targets and removes the requirement to tender while placing private healthcare companies on NHS boards; or voting to criminalise peaceful protest and make voting harder; or now apparently misleading constituents for personal gain; or any other number of examples I could give are “improving society” or “helping constituents”, you’re welcome to that opinion.

      Personally, I can certainly see Angela Richardson is helping “make a difference”, but unfortunately I can’t see how that difference is “improving society” – quite the opposite.

      Readers will note, none of these are personal attacks – I would treat any MP of any party equally if they acted and voted the same way. Those who believe the above examples constitute good governance or represent the views and wishes of Guildford residents are free to continue to think so, but I highly doubt the majority of us do.

      Ms Richardson is not a child doing their best at a sports event, she’s an elected Member of Parliament responsible for decisions that affect millions of lives, a position she consciously took. If she can’t or won’t do what many of us would consider to be her job, we have every right to question this.

      Sam Peters has stood as a candidate for the Green Party in council elections

      • John Perkins Reply

        April 20, 2022 at 7:14 am

        Only one constituency in the UK exceeds 100,000 (Isle of Wight), so the assertion that MPs represent “hundreds of thousands” is simply wrong.

        All the claims that people are “voting to continue” the selective list of “bad things” is equally absurd.

  2. Stephen Lee Reply

    April 18, 2022 at 12:20 pm

    Yes, he broke the law but he has paid the fine so just let him get on with what he needs to do.

    I wonder what all the other parties would have done if they had been in power? He should now apologise to the population, the Queen and finally all the backbiters in Parliament.

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