Local Conservative MP James Duddridge was extremely strongly criticised and called to account at a packed meeting of the Rochford & Southend East Labour Party. The issue that had caused such disapproval was Mr Duddridge’s call for the removal of John Bercow, the democratically-elected Speaker of the House of Commons, after Mr Bercow’s statement on the planned visit of Donald Trump to the UK.
The Labour Party members at the meeting - all local residents - passed a resolution saying, ‘The people of Rochford and Southend East elected James Duddridge to parliament to defend the interest of local constituents, not to promote the interest of the President of the United States. We should formally communicate, as a constituency party, that Duddridge should concentrate on defending the well-being of the people of this constituency rather than expressing his personal views on international issues that are beyond his remit.’
Martin Berry, Secretary of Rochford & Southend East Labour Party, comments: “Mr Duddridge has done very little for his constituents during his eleven years in office and is now making speeches in parliament and in broadcasts on a matter that has no direct benefit or effect for the people who elected him.
"He has failed to stand up for local people on matters including cuts to policing, proposed hospital downgrades and Post Office closures. It is time for Mr Duddridge to stop making self-serving speeches and to start to working harder as a local constituency MP, for which he is paid almost £75,000 a year.
"He also pockets £3,333 a month as an advisor to a private sector company, and has enjoyed rental income from two flats in London as well as hotel expenses he has claimed in the past for overnight accommodation in the capital - despite living within a distance that many of his constituents commute to and from each day.
"If Mr Duddridge is unwilling to devote himself to working on issues that directly affect the people of Rochford & Southend East, then he should stand down. James Duddridge is one of just four (out of 650) MPs who have indicated they lack confidence in the Speaker of the House of Commons - very many people in the Southend and Rochford area definitely lack confidence in James Duddridge.”