MP voted to cut Sure Start funding
Dear Sir, — I was bemused to see our MP, Fiona Bruce, write in the last edition of the Chronicle about priorities. It makes me think back to the recent general election and her promises, priorities and values — promises and values in which Mrs Bruce has stated at every election she has stood in.
The one that stuck out this past week was that of her belief in strong families, and her belief in human rights that she so proudly spoke of at the two recent election hustings.
The reason for this was two things.
Firstly, was Mrs Bruce’s question at PMQs (prime minister’s questions) where she asked the prime minister about the delivery of so-called “family hubs” to “serve vulnerable families with the intensive integrated support they need to care for our children”.
What Mrs Bruce speaks of when she talks about “family hubs” have actually existed for years and were introduced under the last Labour government — it’s called Sure Start.
Sure Start Children Centres have been helping thousands if not millions of families for years with the support they need.
Mrs Bruce has stated she is passionate about delivering “family hubs” and says in her personal statement “I believe” on her website that “families matter — strong, stable families are the heart of a healthy nation”.
Funny then that she has consistently voted, along with her party, to cut funding since 2010 that has led to the closure of around 1,000 Sure Start Children’s Centres that provide the vital help and support that families need.
Secondly, was the recent vote on the amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill that would have continued the policy of reuniting unaccompanied child refugees with their families here in the UK post-Brexit.
The Conservatives, including Mrs Bruce, voted down the amendment, choosing instead to turn their backs on vulnerable children — shamefully ending our country’s long humanitarian tradition of helping child refugees.
How Mrs Bruce can speak about her belief in strong families or human rights or indeed her close personal Christian values again is beyond me.
It is not Christian to turn your back on the most vulnerable.
You do not have a strong belief in families if you consistently vote against supporting them.
And you are not a believer in human rights if you turn against child refugees or choose to support only the rights you believe in.
You either believe in all human rights or none at all — you cannot pick and choose but this is alas what Mrs Bruce has always done — her record regarding LGBT rights and same-sex marriage only goes to further prove this.
In the face of recent scrutiny regarding her belief and previous votes against same-sex marriage, “Sandpiper” wrote in her defence in the last Chronicle edition that Mrs Bruce is only “stating the views of many of us who have been brought up with Christian standards”.
This is a weak argument.
I was raised as a Christian and I am not against same-sex marriage — I support the LGBT community.
I also support helping the most vulnerable, which is a fundamental Christian standard/value that Mrs Bruce has consistently failed to uphold — along with her own belief that “the vulnerable, poor and dispossessed deserve our compassion and practical help, both here and abroad”.
Mrs Bruce proves again that what she says to her constituents is not how she votes when in the Commons.
She cannot even back up her own beliefs, priorities and values with her own voting record. There is no doubt that I shall receive a reply from Mrs Bruce or her office stating that she believes in local debate but that her beliefs have been “attacked”, although I have only done what Mrs Bruce has said to do so many times — judge her by her record.
And that record is one that has failed her constituents and only goes to prove that the people of this constituency deserve much better. — Yours faithfully,
(COUN) MICHAEL UNETT
Congleton Constituency Labour Party.