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Open letter to Sir Geoffrey Cox

December 3, 2021 1:30 PM
Originally published by Torridge and West Devon Liberal Democrats

The Right Honourable Sir Geoffrey Cox, QC

First Floor, Lockyer House
Paddons Row
Tavistock PL19 0HF

28 November 2021

Dear Sir Geoffrey,

I am writing to you in relation to ongoing concerns about the amount of time you dedicate to your professional activities in the British Virgin Islands, and the allegation that you infringed parliamentary standards by using your Westminster office for these purposes.

Since you have denied any wrongdoing, you may consider the matter closed, but for the residents of Torridge and West Devon, the matter is far from over. There continues to be great concern about your absence from the constituency and a perception that urgent and serious matters affecting us here are belittled in favour of your own professional interests.

For example, we would have expected you to intervene to stop the illegal discharge of raw sewage into rivers and seas, which has increased by 87% since last year, with South West Water one of the worst culprits. You also failed to stick up for beef and sheep farmers over the trade deal with New Zealand, with little regard for the environmental impact of importing from the other side of the world what we are well able to produce here in Devon.

You must know that, during the time you have been focussed on the British Virgin Islands, a serious housing crisis has emerged in Torridge and West Devon, which calls out for the intervention of an MP who is fully dedicated to public service and who will genuinely represent the interests of constituents in Westminster. I note that you voted in favour of the Health and Social Care Bill which disproportionately prejudices homeowners in areas with low property values such as our own.

Many people have been infuriated by the implication on your website that the voters of Torridge and West Devon are very happy to have as their MP someone who is an occasional voter in Parliament and is now committed to around £400,000 per year's worth of work overseas. Sir Geoffrey, if you really believe that it is up to voters to decide your fate, I am calling on you to put it to the test. Resign now, so that we can have our say in a by-election.

Yours sincerely

Stephen Middleton
Chair, Torridge and West Devon Lib Dems