LETTERS SPECIAL: Wakefield readers have their say on Mary Creagh’s Brexit vote

Mary Creagh
Mary Creagh

J Greenwood, via email

If any of your readers has not yet realised, Mary Creagh defied the Labour party whip and the view of the majority of her constituents to vote against the bill for triggering article 50 in the House of Commons last week.

Her attitude to Brexit is anti-democratic and shows no respect for her constituents who overwhelmingly voted to leave the EU in the referendum.

She is pursuing her own ideologies and defying the will of the people she is supposed to represent.

I have contacted her by email on a number of occasions to express my displeasure and would encourage others to do the same.

In my opinion, if she is not prepared to represent her constituency and do her job which is paid from taxpayers’ money, her position as Wakefield MP is untenable and she should resign her seat.

Sheena Vigors, Leeds Road, Wakefield

I was very impressed with the courage of Wakefield MP Mary Creagh who voted against the triggering of Article 50 in the Commons recently.

MPs are not delegates at a conference, mandated to speak in a particular way. They must take into account not only the views of their constituents but the views of their party and their personal convictions. In voting as she did, she prioritised the economic prosperity of the UK and of her constituents.

Unfortunately many voters in the EU referendum did not do this. Whipped up into a kind of hysterical frenzy by UKIP and most of the tabloid press, they prioritised immigration reduction, and scarcely considered the probable catastrophic effect of Brexit on the British economy. And few politicians had the guts to point out that immigration is essential to support our economy, that immigration will continue at very similar levels whether we are in the EU or not.

As the referendum resulted in only a very small majority for leaving the EU, the government should be aiming for the softest Brexit possible. This would protect British jobs and standards of living, and support European solidarity, which is more important than ever now that we are faced with the dual threats of Trump and Putin. Instead Theresa May considers it more important to placate the right wing of the Tory party by aiming for a hard Brexit.

Unfortunately Jeremy Corbyn is an old style socialist, who has never believed in European co-operation, so it’s been left to the smaller parties and a few brave souls like Kenneth Clarke to speak the truth.

At the moment the UK remains relatively prosperous because we belong to a single market of more than 500 million people. But the government is proposing to abandon all this (incidentally, it will cost billions of pounds to disentangle 40 years of EU legislation, money which could be spent on the NHS for instance). It then expects to negotiate individual trade deals all over the world.

This could take decades and be extremely difficult - a nightmare scenario.

Robert Gosling, Longroyd Farm, Middlestown

I don’t believe that any person in Wakefield who voted in the EU Referendum did so with the intention of making themselves poorer!

However, we have seen in the past eight months, the value of the pound slump by 20 per cent, resulting in a remorseless increase in petrol prices and the steady increase in the price of food in the shops.

I don’t believe the people of Wakefield voted to leave the EU Single Market, where we currently trade nearly 50 per cent of our exports. The Conservative government, by stating upfront its intention to leave the Single Market is putting jobs in Wakefield at risk, and this can’t be in the best interests of the city.

The government has threatened the EU and to make our country a tax haven by reducing corporate and general taxes. I just wonder how public services such as the NHS will be paid for and survive in their current form, it’s already on its knees in many areas. Again, the people of Wakefield didn’t vote to become an offshore tax haven.

We have also seen Theresa May, hotfoot it across to America to try and get on the right side of the very unpredictable and volatile, Mr Trump, in order to try and make up the potential loss of trade with the EU. I have no faith we will get a fair trade deal with Mr Trump.

So, set against this background where we are likely to see the people of Wakefield poorer, jobs lost and our public services put at risk, I can understand why our MP Mary Creagh voted against the EU Notification of Withdrawal Bill. I believe she used her judgement to take a decision that she felt was in the best interests of her constituents. The interests of the people of Wakefield are not best served by a Conservative hard Brexit as currently laid out by Theresa May, our MP hasn’t said she does not accept the referendum result, she does, it is the impact on her constituents of the Conservative approach to our exit in 2019 that’s the issue.

Andrew Taylor, via email

I am 51 years old born, bred in Wakefield and I still continue to run a successful business in the city.

The people of Wakefield voted Mary Creagh (I did not) to represent them in our constitutional Parliamentary system. She has failed this, in what has been the most historic vote in the last fifty years of politics. Two thirds of Wakefield people voted to leave the EU and, no matter what she personally believes, as our elected MP, she should have supported the Vote to Trigger Article 50, which was the unconditional request of the Labour Party leadership with a three line Whip.

I am absolutely amazed by her quote: “You did not elect me to make you poorer, destroy jobs and weaken public services.” Surely this so-called representative of the Wakefield people is looking back to her party’s record of catastrophe in the final years of the last Labour government - a mess which took the UK to the brink of bankruptcy, from which we are only just starting to recover? Her opinion is her opinion, and we have to respect that, but bringing her recently deceased father into consideration when making the decision to rebel is laughable.

What Ms Creagh needs to do is walk round Wakefield city centre, and look at just exactly what uncontrolled immigration has done to local communities, anyone can see that mass immigration has caused modern day ghettos, and large gangs of men now walk round without jobs, living in DSS-paid grotty bedsits, hoping to have a better life in the UK.

But I seriously question whether this can happen for many of the thousands of uneducated and unskilled migrants from the likes of Bulgaria who are settling in poorer northern towns and cities. The UK needs a controlled immigration policy and, while being sympathetic to situations of the worldwide refugee crisis, it is vitally important that the Home Office regains control of who is coming in and from where.

Ms Creagh says leaving the EU will make us all poorer. What I would suggest she does is change career and become a crystal ball reader. All the UK’s senior economists, the ex-Chancellor, bankers and people far more in the know than her have got that much egg of their faces eight months after Brexit, it’s cringeworthy.

Basically, the way to grow the economy is to relax the stifling rules and regulations on British business that decades of bureaucratic EU policies have placed on them, and this will create jobs, prosperity and hopefully a stronger robust United Kingdom which has to include Scotland, Wales, and NI.

In making the UK a place to do business, by lowering Corporation Taxes and regulation, then prosperity will happen. When this catalyst triggers a Treasury revenue increase, the government can then increase investment in public services.

Whether or not Ms Creagh’s position is now untenable is a matter for further debate. She acted, in my opinion, wrongly, in defying her own party’s stance on the bill, and even if she survives this local political storm, she may just have seriously compromised her long term career in the Labour Party. I think she needs to fall on the political sword.

Stephen Kelly, Farne Avenue, Wakefield

Mary Creagh voted against the triggering of Article 50 and the democratic vote of the country and especially her Wakefield constituency where almost 67 per cent voted for Brexit, myself included.

I believe that if she feels so strongly against Brexit she should resign as a Labour MP and stand as a independent. After all, she is there to represent our interests or has she forgotten that?

Tony Homewood, Westfield Drive, Ossett

I was astonished to see that Mary Creagh MP had abstained in the parliamentary vote on Article 50 on January 31.

I was even more dismayed when, the next morning, she declared on Twitter, that she would in future be voting against the passage of the Article 50 Bill; this in direct opposition to the declared wishes of the people of her Wakefield parliamentary constituency, which overwhelmingly voted for Brexit.

Ms Creagh said that she was voting in ‘the best interests of people in Wakefield and to defend Labour’s values’. In other words, you people don’t know what you are doing, so I will over-rule you for your own good.

The turnout at the referendum was well over 70 per cent. More than 66 per cent of those who voted, voted to leave, with around 33 per cent voting remain. I would remind Mary Creagh that 70 per cent is higher than any turnout that ever elected her. And, 66 per cent is 26 per cent more than elected her in 2015.

If Mary Creagh stands for re-election in 2020, I only hope that the people remember in what contempt she clearly holds them. In the event that Labour attempts to parachute another candidate into a safe Labour administrative seat, as they did with her, the people will use their votes to remind them what democracy is.

Bob Crowther, High Street, Crigglestone

Voters take note - it was interesting to see that our MP, Mary Creagh, cast her vote in Parliament to remain within the EU and thus attempting to block the Brexit vote.

This was despite the constituency which she supposedly represents voting in favour of leaving the EU.

This proves the old adage that your MP, once elected, can ignore a democratic decision.

Finally, why on earth did the MPs have a second vote on the issue when they, along with the rest of the country, had already voted? As such, why not give the population a second vote also?

They certainly tried their best to scupper the deal, a deal that will take us out of one of the most corrupt organisations in the world, an organisation which has not had its financial books cleared by the accountants for more than 28 years due to the fact that billions of Euros cannot be accounted for.

I only hope that the voting population of Mary Creagh’s constituency takes note of her decision when the next General Election campaign commences.

Frank Hartshorne

I was disgusted to watch Mary Creagh in the Commons, voting against the vote of the people and a 66.3 per cent leave vote in her own constituency.

But, if that was not enough, she also voted against the instruction of the Labour party.

I think she should now resign as Member of Parliament immediately - what she has done is unforgiveable.

Andy Shaw, St John’s Grove, Wakefield

The majority of Labour MPs, who campaigned for remain, took the brave and pragmatic decision to back the democratic result and vote for the Article 50 Bill.

They should be applauded for it.

One fantastic speech during the debate by the Labour MP for Ilford North, Wes Streeting, summed up their position:

“At a time when liberal democracy feels so fragile and precious, it is hard to overstate the damage that this Parliament would inflict on our democracy were we to reject the outcome of a referendum in which 33.5 million people voted. This was not an advisory referendum. None of us went to the door asking for advice. We warned of the consequences of leaving, and the majority of voters and the majority of constituencies voted leave with the clear expectation that that would actually happen. I say very simply to those lobbying Parliament to ignore the result, ‘My heart is absolutely with you, if only that were possible.’ Let us be honest with ourselves and with each other: if the vote had gone the other way, we would have expected Parliament to abide by the result.”

Only one Yorkshire MP opposed the Article 50 Bill - Wakefield MP Mary Creagh.

Even Greg Mullholland, Liberal Democrat MP for Leeds North West, abstained.

Mary Creagh voted against the demand of her Wakefield constituents. She has shown contempt for her constituents and, more importantly, for the primacy of democratic decision-making. Sovereignty lies with the people. We lend them our power to represent us. When it is abused, the politician should pay the price.

Ms Creagh claims that she is following her conscience, but don’t be surprised if you see her following Tristram Hunt and other Labour MPs into a well-paid corporate or lobbying job. She clearly doesn’t want to represent the people of Wakefield.

J Gilbert, via email

So Mary Creagh spits in the face of her constituents.

Shame on her, she should do the right thing and resign immediately.