In 2006 the Times newspaper published a list of how each MP voted on the motion to ban smoking in private members clubs and pubs in England. That page has long vanished from the web, however yours truly grabbed a screen shot.
Since then smokers have become ever so slightly more interested in what's being done in their name. With the General Election only a few months away, plus the probability that some MPs will try to switch parties in the final 3 months before the election - and so avoid a by-election, felt it might be helpful to remind us who made the smoking ban a reality.
It seems to add weight to the argument that Scottish, Irish and Welsh MPs should not be allowed to vote on issues that only concern England. While it would not have changed the outcome, the regional MPs are known to have used every means at their disposal to influence their colleagues to vote in favour of the ban or, if not, to abstain - and came out in force to support the measure, notably those from Labour and the Liberal Democrats. Those from the SNP abstained.
One consolation was four of those who voted in favour of the smoking ban were subsequently caught up in the expenses scandal. David Chaytor, Jim Devine, Dennis MacShane and Elliot Morley were all investigated, tried and subsequently sentenced to periods in prison (1). However Jim Devine continues to display the type of duplicitous arrogance of the breed by declaring himself bankrupt, refusing to refund any of his purloined expenses and has moved to Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland where he lives on his MPs pension (2).
What follows is the text of that page, then a reminder of some of the headline players in this ongoing saga.
Labour MPs voting to ban smoking in all pubs and clubs in England were:
Ms Diane Abbott (Hackney North & Stoke Newington) Nick Ainger (Carmarthen West & Pembrokeshire South) Bob Ainsworth (Coventry North East) Douglas Alexander (Paisley and Renfrewshire South) Graham Allen (Nottingham North) David Anderson (Blaydon) Ms Janet Anderson (Rossendale & Darwen) Ms Hilary Armstrong (Durham North West) Ian Austin (Dudley North) John Austin (Erith & Thamesmead) Adrian Bailey (West Bromwich West) Ed Balls (Normanton) Gordon Banks (Ochil and South Perthshire) Celia Barlow (Hove) Kevin Barron (Rother Valley) John Battle (Leeds West) Hugh Bayley (York, City of) Mrs Margaret Beckett (Derby South) Ms Anne Begg (Aberdeen South) Sir Stuart Bell (Middlesbrough)
Hilary Benn (Leeds Central) Joe Benton (Bootle) Dr Roger Berry (Kingswood) Clive Betts (Sheffield Attercliffe) Mrs Liz Blackman (Erewash) Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods (City of Durham) Tony Blair (Sedgefield) Ms Hazel Blears (Salford) David Blunkett (Sheffield Brightside) Kevin Brennan (Cardiff West) Gordon Brown (Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath) Lyn Brown (West Ham) Nick Brown (Newcastle upon Tyne East & Wallsend) Russell Brown (Dumfries and Galloway) Des Browne (Kilmarnock & Loudoun) Chris Bryant (Rhondda) Ms Karen Buck (Regent’s Park & Kensington North) Richard Burden (Birmingham Northfield) Colin Burgon (Elmet) Andy Burnham (Leigh) Dawn Butler (Brent South)
Stephen Byers (Tyneside North) Liam Byrne (Birmingham Hodge Hill) Richard Caborn (Sheffield Central) David Cairns (Inverclyde) Martin Caton (Gower) Ian Cawsey (Brigg & Goole) Colin Challen (Morley & Rothwell) Ben Chapman (Wirral South) David Chaytor (Bury North) Michael Clapham (Barnsley West & Penistone) Katy Clark (Ayrshire North and Arran) Paul Clark (Gillingham) Charles Clarke (Norwich South) Tom Clarke (Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill) Ms Ann Clwyd (Cynon Valley) Vernon Coaker (Gedling) Harry Cohen (Leyton & Wanstead) Michael Connarty (Linlithgow and East Falkirk) Frank Cook (Stockton North) Rosie Cooper (West Lancashire) Ms Yvette Cooper (Pontefract & Castleford)
Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North) Jim Cousins (Newcastle upon Tyne Central) Mary Creagh (Wakefield) Ms Ann Cryer (Keighley) Mrs Claire Curtis-Thomas (Crosby) Alistair Darling (Edinburgh South West) Wayne David (Caerphilly) Ian Davidson (Glasgow South West) Ms Janet Dean (Burton) John Denham (Southampton Itchen) Jim Devine (Livingston) Parmjit Dhanda (Gloucester) Andrew Dismore (Hendon) Jim Dobbin (Co-op Heywood & Middleton) Frank Dobson (Holborn & St Pancras) Brian Donohoe (Central Ayrshire) Frank Doran (Aberdeen North) Jim Dowd (Lewisham West) David Drew (Stroud)
Mrs Gwyneth Dunwoody (Crewe & Nantwich) Ms Angela Eagle (Wallasey) Ms Maria Eagle (Liverpool Garston) Clive Efford (Eltham) Mrs Louise Ellman (Liverpool Riverside) Natascha Engel (Derbyshire North East) Jeff Ennis (Barnsley East & Mexborough) Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme) Jim Fitzpatrick (Poplar & Canning Town) Robert Flello (Stoke-on-Trent South) Ms Caroline Flint (Don Valley) Paul Flynn (Newport West) Ms Barbara Follett (Stevenage) Michael Jabez Foster (Hastings & Rye) Hywel Francis (Aberavon) Mike Gapes (Ilford South) Neil Gerrard (Walthamstow) Dr Ian Gibson (Norwich North) Mrs Linda Gilroy (Plymouth Sutton) Paul Goggins (Wythenshawe & Sale East) Nia Griffith (Llanelli) Nigel Griffiths (Edinburgh South) John Grogan (Selby) Andrew Gwynne (Denton & Reddish)
Peter Hain (Neath) Mike Hall (Weaver Vale) Patrick Hall (Bedford) Fabian Hamilton (Leeds North East) Ms Harriet Harman (Camberwell & Peckham) Mark Hendrick (Preston) Stephen Hepburn (Jarrow) John Heppell (Nottingham East) Stephen Hesford (Wirral West) Ms Patricia Hewitt (Leicester West) David Heyes (Ashton under Lyne) Meg Hillier (Hackney South & Shoreditch) Mrs Margaret Hodge (Barking) Sharon Hodgson (Gateshead East & Washington West) Jimmy Hood (Lanark and Hamilton East) Geoff Hoon (Ashfield) Phil Hope (Corby) Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North) George Howarth (Knowsley North & Sefton East) Dr Kim Howells (Pontypridd) Ms Beverley Hughes (Stretford & Urmston)
Mrs Joan Humble (Blackpool North & Fleetwood) Huw Irranca-Davies (Ogmore) Ms Glenda Jackson (Hampstead & Highgate) Sian James (Swansea East) Diana Johnson (Hull North) Dr Lynne Jones (Birmingham Selly Oak) Martyn Jones (Clwyd South) Sir Gerald Kaufman (Manchester Gorton) Ms Sally Keeble (Northampton North) Barbara Keeley (Worsley) Alan Keen (Feltham & Heston) Ms Ann Keen (Brentford & Isleworth) Fraser Kemp (Houghton & Washington East) Piara Khabra (Ealing Southall) Sadiq Khan (Tooting) David Kidney (Stafford) Peter Kilfoyle (Liverpool Walton) Jim Knight (Dorset South) Dr Ashok Kumar (Middlesbrough South & Cleveland East) Dr Stephen Ladyman (Thanet South) David Lammy (Tottenham) Mark Lazarowicz (Edinburgh North & Leith) David Lepper (Brighton Pavilion) Tom Levitt (High Peak) Ivan Lewis (Bury South) Martin Linton (Battersea) Tony Lloyd (Manchester Central) Andy Love (Edmonton) Ian Lucas (Wrexham) Steve McCabe (Birmingham Hall Green) Mrs Chris McCafferty (Calder Valley) Kerry McCarthy (Bristol East) Sarah McCarthy-Fry (Portsmouth North)
Ian McCartney (Makerfield) John McDonnell (Hayes & Harlington) Pat McFadden (Wolverhampton South East) John McFall (West Dunbartonshire) Jim McGovern (Dundee West) Ms Anne McGuire (Stirling) Ms Shona McIsaac (Cleethorpes) Ms Ann McKechin (Glasgow North) Ms Rosemary McKenna (Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East) Andrew Mackinlay (Thurrock) Tony McNulty (Harrow East) Denis MacShane (Rotherham) Shahid Malik (Dewsbury) Ms Judy Mallaber (Amber Valley) John Mann (Bassetlaw) Rob Marris (Wolverhampton South West) David Marshall (Glasgow East) Robert Marshall-Andrews (Medway) Eric Martlew (Carlisle) Michael Meacher (Oldham West & Royton) Ms Gillian Merron (Lincoln) Alun Michael (Cardiff South & Penarth) Alan Milburn (Darlington) David Miliband (South Shields) Edward Miliband (Doncaster North) Andrew Miller (Ellesmere Port & Neston), Austin Mitchell (Great Grimsby) Ms Anne Moffat (East Lothian) Ms Laura Moffatt (Crawley) Chris Mole (Ipswich) Ms Madeleine Moon (Bridgend) Ms Jessica Morden (Newport East) Ms Julie Morgan (Cardiff North) Elliot Morley (Scunthorpe) George Mudie (Leeds East) Chris Mullin (Sunderland South) Ms Meg Munn (Sheffield Heeley) Jim Murphy (East Renfrewshire)
Paul Murphy (Torfaen) Dan Norris (Wansdyke) Eddie O’Hara (Knowsley South) Ms Sandra Osborne (Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock) Albert Owen (Ynys Mon) Nick Palmer (Broxtowe) Greg Pope (Hyndburn) Ms Bridget Prentice (Lewisham East) Gordon Prentice (Pendle) Ms Dawn Primarolo (Bristol South) Gwyn Prosser (Dover) Ken Purchase (Wolverhampton North East) James Purnell (Stalybridge & Hyde) Bill Rammell (Harlow) Nick Raynsford (Greenwich & Woolwich) Andy Reed (Loughborough) Jamie Reed (Copeland) Linda Riordan (Halifax) John Robertson (Glasgow North West) Terry Rooney (Bradford North) Chris Ruane (Vale of Clwyd) Joan Ruddock (Lewisham Deptford) Ms Joan Ryan (Enfield North) Martin Salter (Reading West) Mohammad Sarwar (Glasgow Central) Miss Alison Seabeck (Plymouth Devonport) Jonathan Shaw (Chatham & Aylesford)
Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield) Jim Sheridan (Paisley and Renfrewshire North) Ms Clare Short (Birmingham Ladywood) Alan Simpson (Nottingham South) Marsha Singh (Bradford West) Dennis Skinner (Bolsover) Andrew Slaughter (Ealing, Acton & Shepherd’s Bush) Andrew Smith (Oxford East) Ms Angela C. Smith (Sheffield Hillsborough) Ms Angela E Smith (Basildon) Ms Jacqui Smith (Redditch) Anne Snelgrove (Swindon South) Sir Peter Soulsby (Leicester South) Ms Helen Southworth (Warrington South) Dr Phyllis Starkey (Milton Keynes South West) Ian Stewart (Eccles) Howard Stoate (Dartford) Dr Gavin Strang (Edinburgh East) Graham Stringer (Manchester Blackley) Ms Gisela Stuart (Birmingham Edgbaston) Gerry Sutcliffe (Bradford South) Mark Tami (Alyn & Deeside) Ms Dari Taylor (Stockton South) David Taylor (Leicestershire North West) Gareth Thomas (Harrow West) Stephen Timms (East Ham) Paddy Tipping (Sherwood), Don Touhig (Islwyn) Jon Trickett (Hemsworth)
Paul Truswell (Pudsey) Dr Desmond Turner (Brighton Kemptown) Neil Turner (Wigan) Derek Twigg (Halton) Kitty Ussher (Burnley) Rudi Vis (Finchley & Golders Green) Ms Joan Walley (Stoke-on-Trent North) Lynda Waltho (Stourbridge) Tom Watson (West Bromwich East) Alan Whitehead (Southampton Test) Malcolm Wicks (Croydon North) Alan Williams (Swansea West) Mrs Betty Williams (Conwy) Michael Wills (Swindon North) David Winnick (Walsall North) Ms Rosie Winterton (Doncaster Central) Mike Wood (Batley & Spen) Shaun Woodward (St Helens South) Anthony Wright (Great Yarmouth) David Wright (Telford) Iain Wright (Hartlepool) Dr Tony Wright (Cannock Chase) Derek Wyatt (Sittingbourne & Sheppey)
Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) Alan Campbell (Tynemouth) Ronnie Campbell (Blyth Valley) David Clelland (Tyne Bridge) Ms Ann Coffey (Stockport) David Crausby (Bolton North East) John Cummings (Easington) Jim Cunningham (Coventry South) Bill Etherington (Sunderland North) Frank Field (Birkenhead) Mark Fisher (Stoke-on-Trent Central) Bruce George (Walsall South) Roger Godsiff (Birmingham Sparkbrook & Small Heath) Mrs Helen Goodman (Bishop Auckland)
David Hamilton (Midlothian) Tom Harris (Glasgow South) Doug Henderson (Newcastle upon Tyne North) Keith Hill (Streatham) Ms Kate Hoey (Vauxhall) John Hutton (Barrow & Furness) Dr Bian Iddon (Bolton South East) Adam Ingram (East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahgow) Brian Jenkins (Tamworth) Alan Johnson (Hull West & Hessle) Kevan Jones (Durham North) Ms Tessa Jowell (Dulwich & West Norwood) Eric Joyce (Falkirk) Ms Ruth Kelly (Bolton West)
Ms Jane Kennedy (Liverpool Wavertree) Thomas McAvoy (Rutherglen and Hamilton West) Ms Siobhain McDonagh (Mitcham & Morden) Ms Fiona Mactaggart (Slough) Khalid Mahmood (Birmingham Perry Barr) Alan Meale (Mansfield) Ms Kali Mountford (Colne Valley) Mike O'Brien (Warwickshire North) Bill Olner (Nuneaton) Ian Pearson (Dudley South)
James Plaskitt (Warwick & Leamington) Stephen Pound (Ealing North) John Prescott (Hull East) John Reid (Airdrie and Shotts) Geoffrey Robinson (Coventry North West) Ms Geraldine Smith (Morecambe & Lunesdale) John Spellar (Warley) Emily Thornberry (Islington South & Finsbury) Mark Todd (Derbyshire South) Keith Vaz (Leicester East) Robert Wareing (Liverpool West Derby) Phil Woolas (Oldham East & Saddleworth)
Tories voting to ban smoking in all pubs and clubs in England were:
David Amess (Southend West) James Arbuthnot (Hampshire North East) Tony Baldry (Banbury) John Bercow (Buckingham) Sir Paul Beresford (Mole Valley) Peter Bone (Wellingborough) Tim Boswell (Daventry) Peter Bottomley (Worthing West) Julian Brazier (Canterbury) James Brokenshire (Hornchurch) Alistair Burt (Bedfordshire North East) Greg Clark (Tunbridge Wells) Stephen Crabb (Preseli Pembrokeshire)
David Curry (Skipton & Ripon) Mrs Nadine Dorries (Bedfordshire Mid) Tobias Ellwood (Bournemouth East) David Evennett (Bexleyheath & Crayford) Michael Fabricant (Lichfield) Ms Justine Greening (Putney) John Greenway (Ryedale) Oliver Heald (Hertfordshire North East) Michael Jack (Fylde) David Jones (Clwyd West) Daniel Kawczynski (Shrewsbury & Atcham) Robert Key (Salisbury) Mrs Eleanor Laing (Epping Forest) Mark Lancaster (Milton Keynes North East) David Lidington (Aylesbury) Peter Luff (Worcestershire Mid) Anne Main (St Albans) Patrick Mercer (Newark) Anne Milton (Guildford) James Paice (Cambridgeshire South East) Michael Penning (Hemel Hempstead)
John Penrose (Weston-Super-Mare) John Randall (Uxbridge) Andrew Rosindell (Romford) Lee Scott (Ilford North) Andrew Selous (Bedfordshire South West) Grant Shapps (Welwyn Hatfield) Mrs Caroline Spelman (Meriden) Sir John Stanley (Tonbridge & Malling) Gary Streeter (Devon South West) Shailesh Vara (Cambridgeshire North West) Rob Wilson (Reading East) Jeremy Wright (Rugby & Kenilworth) Sir George Young (Hampshire North West)
Tories voting against banning smoking in all pubs and clubs in England were:
Adam Afriyie (Windsor) Peter Ainsworth (Surrey East) Peter Atkinson (Hexham) Richard Bacon (Norfolk South) Gregory Barker (Bexhill & Battle) John Baron (Billericay) Henry Bellingham (Norfolk North West) Richard Benyon (Newbury) Brian Binley (Northampton South) Crispin Blunt (Reigate) Graham Brady (Altrincham & Sale West) Mrs Angela Browning (Tiverton & Honiton) Simon Burns (Chelmsford West) David Burrowes (Enfield Southgate) Sir John Butterfill (Bournemouth West) Douglas Carswell (Harwich)
William Cash (Stone) Christopher Chope (Christchurch) James Clappison (Hertsmere) Kenneth Clarke (Rushcliffe) Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (Cotswold) Derek Conway (Old Bexley & Sidcup) Sir Patrick Cormack (Staffordshire South) Geoffrey Cox (Torridge & West Devon) David TC Davies (Monmouth) Philip Davies (Shipley) Quentin Davies (Grantham & Stamford) Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon) Stephen Dorrell (Charnwood) James Duddridge (Rochford & Southend East) Alan Duncan (Rutland & Melton) Iain Duncan Smith (Chingford & Woodford Green) Philip Dunne (Ludlow) Nigel Evans (Ribble Valley) Michael Fallon (Sevenoaks) Mark Field (Cities of London & Westminster) Eric Forth (Bromley & Chislehurst)
Dr Liam Fox (Woodspring) Mark Francois (Rayleigh) Christopher Fraser (Norfolk South West) Roger Gale (Thanet North) Edward Garnier (Harborough) David Gauke (Hertfordshire South West) Nick Gibb (Bognor Regis & Littlehampton) Mrs Cheryl Gillan (Chesham & Amersham) Paul Goodman (Wycombe) Michael Gove (Surrey Heath) Chris Grayling (Epsom & Ewell) Damian Green (Ashford) Dominic Grieve (Beaconsfield) John Gummer (Suffolk Coastal) William Hague (Richmond (Yorks) Philip Hammond (Runnymede & Weybridge) Stephen Hammond (Wimbledon) Mark Harper (Forest of Dean) John Hayes (South Holland & The Deepings) David Heathcoat-Amory (Wells) Charles Hendry (Wealden) Nick Herbert (Arundel & South Downs) Mark Hoban (Fareham) Philip Hollobone (Kettering) Adam Holloway (Gravesham) John Horam (Orpington) Michael Howard (Folkestone & Hythe) Gerald Howarth (Aldershot) Jeremy Hunt (Surrey South West) Nick Hurd (Ruislip - Northwood) Stewart Jackson (Peterborough) Bernard Jenkin (Essex North) Boris Johnson (Henley) Miss Julie Kirkbride (Bromsgrove)
Greg Knight (Yorkshire East) Mrs Jacqui Lait (Beckenham) Andrew Lansley (Cambridgeshire South) Edward Leigh (Gainsborough) Oliver Letwin (Dorset West) Ian Liddell-Grainger (Bridgwater) Peter Lilley (Hitchin & Harpenden) Tim Loughton (Worthing East & Shoreham) Miss Anne McIntosh (Vale of York) Andrew Mackay (Bracknell) David Maclean (Penrith & The Border) Patrick McLoughlin (Derbyshire West) Humfrey Malins (Woking) Michael Mates (Hampshire East) Mrs Theresa May (Maidenhead) Maria Miller (Basingstoke) Andrew Mitchell (Sutton Coldfield) Malcolm Moss (Cambridgeshire North East) Dr Andrew Murrison (Westbury) Brooks Newmark (Braintree) Stephen O'Brien (Eddisbury) Richard Ottaway (Croydon South) Owen Paterson (Shropshire North) Andrew Pelling (Croydon Central) John Redwood (Wokingham) Sir Malcolm Rifkind (Kensington & Chelsea) Andrew Robathan (Blaby) Hugh Robertson (Faversham & Kent Mid)
Laurence Robertson (Tewkesbury) David Ruffley (Bury St Edmunds) Keith Simpson (Norfolk Mid) Nicholas Soames (Sussex Mid) Sir Michael Spicer (Worcestershire West) Richard Spring (Suffolk West) Anthony Steen (Totnes) Desmond Swayne (New Forest West) Hugo Swire (Devon East) Robert Syms (Poole) Sir Peter Tapsell (Louth & Horncastle) Andrew Turner (Isle of Wight) Andrew Tyrie (Chichester) Edward Vaizey (Wantage) Peter Viggers (Gosport) Mrs Theresa Villiers (Chipping Barnet) Charles Walker (Broxbourne) Robert Walter (Dorset North) Nigel Waterson (Eastbourne) Mrs Angela Watkinson (Upminster) John Whittingdale (Maldon & Chelmsford East) Miss Ann Widdecombe (Maidstone & The Weald) Bill Wiggin (Leominster) David Willetts (Havant) Sir Nicholas Winterton (Macclesfield) Tim Yeo (Suffolk South)
Other MPs voting for the blanket smoking ban were:
Democratic Unionist Party Gregory Campbell (Londonderry East) Jeffrey Donaldson (Lagan Valley) Rev William McCrea (South Antrim) The Rev Ian Paisley (Antrim North) Mrs Iris Robinson (Strangford) Peter Robinson (Belfast East) David Simpson (Upper Bann) Sammy Wilson (East Antrim) Independent Dr Richard Taylor (Wyre Forest) Plaid Cymru Adam Price (Carmarthen East & Dinefwr) Hywel Williams (Caernarfon) Social Democratic and Labour Party Mark Durkan (Foyle) Alasdair McDonnell (Belfast South) Ulster Unionist Party Lady Sylvia Hermon (Down North)
Other MPs voting against the blanket smoking ban were:
Plaid Cymru Elfyn Llwyd (Meirionnydd Nant Conwy)
Liberal Democrats votingto ban smoking in all pubs and clubs in England were:
Danny Alexander (Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey) John Barrett (Edinburgh West) Alan Beith (Berwick-upon-Tweed) Tom Brake (Carshalton & Wallington) Ms Annette Brooke (Dorset Mid & Poole North) Malcolm Bruce (Gordon) Paul Burstow (Sutton & Cheam) Mrs Lorely Burt (Solihull) Dr Vincent Cable (Twickenham) Sir Menzies Campbell (Fife North East) Tim Farron (Westmorland & Lonsdale) Lynne Featherstone (Hornsey & Wood Green)
Don Foster (Bath) Andrew George (St Ives) Mrs Sandra Gidley (Romsey) Julia Goldsworthy (Falmouth & Camborne) Mike Hancock (Portsmouth South) Dr Evan Harris (Oxford West & Abingdon) Nick Harvey (Devon North) John Hemming (Birmingham Yardley) Paul Holmes (Chesterfield) Martin Horwood (Cheltenham) Chris Huhne (Eastleigh) Mark Hunter (Cheadle) Paul Keetch (Hereford) Charles Kennedy (Ross, Skye & Lochaber) Susan Kramer (Richmond Park) Norman Lamb (Norfolk North) John Leech (Manchester Withington) Michael Moore (Berwickshire Roxburgh and Selkirk)
John Pugh (Southport) Alan Reid (Argyll & Bute) Willie Rennie (Dunfermline and Fife West) Dan Rogerson (Cornwall North) Paul Rowen (Rochdale) Bob Russell (Colchester) Sir Robert Smith (Aberdeenshire West & Kincardine) Andrew Stunell (Hazel Grove) Jo Swinson (East Dunbartonshire) Matthew Taylor (Truro & St Austell) Sarah Teather (Brent East) Steve Webb (Northavon) Mark Williams (Ceredigion) Roger Williams (Brecon & Radnorshire) Stephen Williams (Bristol West) Ms Jenny Willott (Cardiff Central) Richard Younger-Ross (Teignbridge)
Liberal Democrats opposing the smoking ban in all pubs and clubs in England were:
Colin Breed (Cornwall South East) Jeremy Browne (Taunton) Edward Davey (Kingston & Surbiton) David Howarth (Cambridge) Mark Oaten (Winchester) Lembit Opik (Montgomeryshire) Adrian Sanders (Torbay) John Thurso (Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross)
Several changes due to the game of musical chairs however Andrew Lansley MP, who voted against the ban, did a U-turn whilst he was Health Secretary. He's one MP who'll get his wish - that tobacco companies to have no business in the UK; JT intends to close the last remaining tobacco factory of consequence on British soil in 2016 (3). Andrew's an opportunistic fellow on many levels, as I pointed out in 2012 (4), so no surprise that the medical establishment insisted he be booted from that job (for daring to reduce their pensions), leaving Jeremy Hunt MP to sort out his mess. While Jeremy has a track record of sailing close to the wind with his expenses and freebies, he too has had a change of heart about smoking, voicing his opinion that he'd very much like to see a Britain where no one "aspires to smoke" - and he'd really like to see that within the next five years (5).
I have no problem with individual MPs voicing their opinions, they do so on a range of issues which is fine, even if they display a certain disconnect with large swathes of society. Where I have a problem is when they receive taxpayer money to go through the charade of "independent committees" and "public consultations", some taking several months to come to a foregone conclusion. Hiding tobacco displays and plain packaging are two solutions rubber stamped by the "All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health" and that involved a variety of vested interests that I looked at in 2012 (part 2 of this post) (6).
The elected stiffs in that group are:
Sir Kevin Barron MP (Labour - Rother Valley. Majority 12.5%).
Bob Blackman MP (Tory - Harrow East. Majority 7.1%).
John Robertson MP (Labour - Glasgow North West. Majority 38.3%).
Stephen Williams MP (Liberal Democrats - Bristol West. Majority 20.5%).
It may seem that they're all in fairly secure seats. I suspect that's why they were so keen to put themselves forward: that and the additional income that comes from sitting on these committees. However things have moved on in politics what with the virtual collapse of the Liberal Democrat vote, the upsurge in support for the SNP at the expense of Labour in Scotland and the fact Blackman, aside from being smokerphobic, is a staunch supporter of Israel, being part of the Conservative Friends of Israel (7) and one of a handful of MPs who voted against recognizing Palestine (8).
Looking into this in greater detail I find that Bob seems to have no difficulty in trying to save British children from the almost mystical attraction of tobacco packaging, nor from the seemingly fatal effects of second hand smoke. Of course Bob himself doesn't much like the act of smoking - and that helps, however to give himself the absolute right to do all in his power to save Britain and indeed the world from big tobacco - as well as (like it or not) the people who consume their products, Bob really needs the moral authority that's forthcoming from the likes of ASH, the WHO and the reams of data they so thoughtfully provide. And what Bob cannot abide are people who dare to interfere in his carefully crafted plans. Dick Puddlecote gave us an insight into his views on public opinion, where the input of hundreds of thousands were dismissed as an irrelevance (9).
On the other hand, what with Bob considering himself a complex character with strong convictions, he sees no problem whatsoever in being a part of the Tory Pals of Israel group. It's through groups like this that Bob can help arrange to bypass the embargo and export military equipment that was used in the 2014 Israeli summer offensive against Gaza (10). There it's okay to crush the terror threat by killing Palestinian infants, children, teenagers and hospital patients. That's just dandy with our Bob because they're just "collateral damage" and these things happen when it's a life or death struggle for survival. And the chemical components of shells, rockets and missiles, well they're nowhere near as dangerous as those given off by one single cigarette!
Yup the voters in Harrow East must be so proud to have Bob represent them in Parliament. Hopefully at some point Muslims, smokers, shop keepers and those with a conscience will chose to distance themselves from this sadistic psychopath.
Voters in Bristol West must be chuffed to bits that Stephen Williams was a driving force behind the legislation to allow gay marriage and the fact he's all in favour of minimum pricing for alcohol. However Stephen claims to have his own compelling reasons for wanting to be a part of the great endeavour to rid Britain (and the world) of tobacco. Seems his Mummy and Daddy both croaked of so called smoking related diseases. One could speculate that having a child as thoroughly loathsome as Stephen probably had far more to do with their early demise than anything they inhaled.
There is however another bit player who's gotten in on the publicity so readily available to those who front up on behalf of Tobacco Control. Alex Cunningham is the Labour MP for Stockton North (11). He's the one who started the push that resulted in the ban on smoking in cars with "children" present. The final definition of a "child" is a person aged up to 18. Much has been discussed about this ban, however it was our Alex who set the ball rolling and I had a few things to say about that in 2012 (12).
Alex is in what's considered to be a safe Labour seat, however his predecessor - Frank Cook - voted for the smoking ban and that may have had a bearing on their reduced margin in 2010 (13). I await the decision of voters in Stockton North.
And as this pair points out (14). For they'd none of 'em be missed - they'd none of 'em be missed!