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Gentle courage

22nd August 2008


It is rare for a House of self-absorbed megalomaniacs to sign a tribute to a fellow MP. Fifty seven MPs signed the following  EDM I put down  in  March:-

210

HON. MEMBER FOR KEIGHLEY'S CAMPAIGNS

That this House applauds the courage and persistence of the hon. Member for Keighley (Ann Cryer) in her nine year long campaigns to expose the dreadful consequences of forced marriages and the hazards of consanguineous marriages; and commends her persuasive measured response to criticism as a model for others to emulate.

Yesterday Ann announced she would not be standing at he next election because of “ my age, health and decreasing energy". I e-mailed her yesterday saying that a half energy Ann is better than the turbo-charged average MP.

In a kind and generous editorial tribute this morning the Guardian said:-

“She has helped many causes with an unpolitical disregard for whether they are popular or not. In particular, she works and speaks fearlessly for women at risk from marriages involving overt or, more often, concealed compulsion, using a bluntness about cultural issues that has upset some people in her marginal constituency of Keighley. The Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act which comes into force next month is one result, and gradually, tenaciously, Mrs Cryer continues to win critics round.

At the last general election, when the British National Party's leader Nick Griffin unfurled his grubby standard at Keighley in the hope of gaining from local disaffection. The town rallied and Mrs Cryer walloped him.”

Parliament will be poorer for the retirement of valuable squad of principled MPs including Lynne Jones, Alan Simpson, Neil Gerrard,  John Austin, John Battle, Colin Challen, Michael Clapham and many others.

No, not for a second am I not tempted. I have only just started many of my campaigns.