MANY have already witnessed the number of government ministers coming to the borough. Each visit will be significant and will carry a compulsory “war of words” all the way up to May 6th (or whenever the General Election will be).
On tuesday, Communities Minister, Shahid Malik visited the first day of dredging at DP World, London Gateway. Tories resented the fact that Labour are keen to “ride on the back” of this success story (PM Gordon Brown visited in January) when Chief Executive Simon Moore admitted that there had not been any direct government investment for the whole port venture.
On monday, Leader of the opposition, David Cameron visited the Port of Tilbury. Thurrock MP Andrew Mackinlay found out about this the next day. He made this point in the House of Commons.
Mr Mackinlay said: “Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. I was not going to raise this matter, but in a sense the Leader of the Opposition and the Prime Minister are both the same and both to blame.
“Mr. Cameron wrote to me on Friday about his visit to Tilbury on Monday. I am not suggesting that that was deliberate, but both of them need to understand that they owe courtesies to ordinary Back Benchers in this House.
Their offices should tell us. No, no: it was sent by pigeon post and did not reach me till Tuesday.
That is the point. I wanted to greet the bloke, because I wanted to ask him about the Conservative council doing away with the subsidy on the thousand-year-old Tilbury ferry. Why do we not bang their heads together, and move on?