Sunday, November 26, 2023

News and gossip from Peter Bone's Wellingborough

All political eyes are turning to Wellingborough, so here are the latest reports.

Peter Bone, you may recall, is currently facing a recall petition following his suspension from the Commons for six weeks when the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards upheld five allegations of bullying and one of sexual misconduct against him.

Today's Sunday Times alleges that Bone offered to resign his seat immediately, provided the Conservative Party would guarantee his girlfriend, already an approved candidate, a place on the shortlist for the ensuing by-election.

If they failed to do so, the story also says, then Bone would stand as an Independent to split the Conservative vote.

Bone denies these allegations, saying that the plan was put to him by others, and he turned it down. But the report does say that he is expected to stand against the Conservatives if there is a by-election following the recall petition.

To force a by-election, that petition needs 7940 signatures, but the Northamptonshire Telegraph has reported local disquiet with the arrangements for signing it.

Marion Turner-Hawes, an Independent member of Wellingborough Town Council, says:

“I plan to make a complaint on the basis that it is completely inappropriate where they have assigned people. The biggest concern is that 7,000 to 8,000 people in Wellingborough are being sent to Finedon – four miles away. You could walk it but imagine if you’re elderly or disabled trying to get there under your own steam. There is a bus but it’s not easy."

She added:

"I know people can do a postal vote but they should not be forced to do that, it should be a choice.

"If we want democracy to work, it needs to be close to where people live. It’s not just in my ward. I’ve heard of people living near Redwell Leisure Centre having to go to Wellingborough Rugby Club in Cut Throat Lane."

The paper quotes North Northamptonshire Council, which is running the petition, as saying that some of the venues it normally uses as polling stations have Christmas events planned and are unwilling to make themselves available for the whole of the petition period.

On a happier note, Wellingborough Rugby Club wins our Name of the Day Award for having a ground called Cut Throat Lane. Their welcome sign must strike fear into arriving teams.


Anonymous said...

I know that you are very busy and have numerous calls on your time, but we really need a lot more on-the-ground reporting from you about Wellingborough and environs. This recall petition is not getting nearly the attention it deserves from the mainstream media, and the bad management (mis-management?) of the process is worth noting.

Jonathan Calder said...

I'm afraid You won't hear much about the petition and how it's going from me or anyone else. There are strict restrictions on what can be reported - I linked to them in an earlier post on Wellingborough.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I had missed that - thanks for letting us know.