Mackinlay Explains Standing Down

The film speaks for itself as Thurrock MP Andrew Mackinlay explains his reasons for stepping down at the next General Election.

YourThurrock has been very grateful for the access Mr Mackinlay has given us.

He will be sorely missed in the House of Commons. Andrew has been a vital bulwark for democracy often asking the awkward questions and then not letting go. Perhaps a bulldog for democracy.

What has impressed us is that one minute he is asking questions on Tierra Del Fuego in his capacity as a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and then he is posing a point on Tilbury or Aveley.

Andrew took on too much. That was the heart of the man. A few months ago, he sped from the House of Commons to be part of a schools debate in Chafford Hundred. He then popped in to the Thameside Theatre to see the Thurrock Courts Players perform. I could see Andrew struggle to stay awake.

This was the first week of the expenses scandal. Afterwards in the bar, I could see the pain etched in Andrew’s face. He had nothing to hide but it was the shaming of parliament that had upset Andrew because let us not forget that he is a very sensitive man but also totally totally believes in the dignity/sanctity of democracy.

There is no doubt that Andrew was a 24/7, 365 MP. If you are of the persuasion to criticise MP’s over their 77 day christmas holidays then we can tell you that Andrew was working for his constituents every day during that recess. As we have said, in many ways that has been the problem and why he has simply burnt out.

No debate on the legacy of Andrew Mackinlay can go by without discussing Dr David Kelly. Our interpretation of the questioning by Andrew Mackinlay is this.

Andrew, as we have said, totally believes in the sanctity of parliament. He wants any Inquiry on Iraq to have the force of sworn oaths. Sitting there in 2003 on the Foreign Affairs Committee as Dr Kelly gave evidence, our impression was that Andrew like a good barrister or detective could feel that Dr Kelly’s evidence wasn’t getting to the heart of the matter. The rest, tragically, is history.

You have the feeling that after Andrew leaves parliament, he will continue to be a busy man. The other place one day,we hope but in the meantime there will be many a campaign that could do with Andrew Mackinlay being the public face.

Let us hope though that the family time is cherished, that the painting improves and that time is given over to the memoirs.

As an MP we will miss him. His successor (article on that to come tomorrow) will have a hard task but a fulfilling one.

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