Ian Mearns MP explains why he resigned as a PPS

22nd March, 2013 7:06 pm

As we reported yesterday, Gateshead MP Ian Mearns resigned as a PPS following his rebellion against the party line (along with 40+ others) on welfare sanctions. Mearns has told International Business Times his reasons for rebelling – and resigning:

“Based on my casework experience I do not have any real faith at all that Iain Duncan Smith could oversee a fair, open and transparent mechanism at the DWP. We were voting for possible sanctions on everyone since 2011. That’s not fair.”

“Then I had to resign, or it would have been a case of getting the sack because I had voted against the wishes of the leadership of the party on this issue.”

“The line being taken by the frontbench team was one that everyone was not comfortable with. I have talked to colleagues and many of them who abstained did so with a very heavy heart.”

“The timing was unfortunate. On the day of the Budget, the frontbench did not want to run the risk of being called irresponsible. But there’s neither a good nor a bad time when we want to do the right thing.”

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  • Dave Postles

    Heartfelt thanks to him, but really the rest should have had the same integrity. In any case, where were they during the discussion in the chamber?

  • AlanGiles

    At least Mr. Mearns can hold his head high knowing that he voted with his conscience. In his place I would have done the same thing. There are times when you have to say enough is enough and resign as a matter of principle.

    If other backbenchers did what they did with “a heavy heart” then they have themselves to blame for their weakness and cowardice. I don’t know how they can live with themselves.

    I wonder if Byrne will ever have the decency to resign, or Miliband find the backbone to sack him.

  • Daniel Speight

    “The timing was unfortunate. On the day of the Budget, the frontbench did not want to run the risk of being called irresponsible. But there’s neither a good nor a bad time when we want to do the right thing.”

    Forget the spin and the strange excuses, I suspect this is the real reason for the abstention command. It is still fear of the tabloids.

    • Which is bizarre really, because under what circumstances could you imagine the Daily Mail not calling us irresponsible?

  • what a lovely man

  • Monkey_Bach

    Mr. Means behaved honourably.

    But is Labour really saying that the Party can only be depended upon to do the right thing, on non-special days, when there’s absolutely no danger that somebody, somewhere, might call it a rude name?

    Could Labour be weaker, more cowardly, and pathetic than this?

    I am speechless.


  • Rosie2
  • Ian Mearns should be applauded for having the courage of his convictions. Something you could once expect from nearly all Labour MPs. Sadly those days seem to have passed.

  • And this is why people like me stopped voting Labour – one brave guy, with 35 colleagues while the majority of the party abstains because its budget day. What a pathetic excuse. If you want my vote back you need to stand for something beyond tomorrows headlines. Not impressed. (But very well done Ian, you at least give me hope)

  • Jeremy_Preece

    What an honerable man. I say take Ian Mearns and give him Liam Brynes’ job.

    And there is nothing to be gained by trying to appease the right wing media either, at the end of the day the thing that people respect is those who stand up for their principles.


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