An MP’s surgery

MPs are receiving copies of a lobby email asking us to sign a pledge not to report illegal migrants if they come to our surgeries.  Let me explain the nature of an MP’s surgery and the legal position to those who send in this email.

The main purposes of an MP’s surgery are to take up cases for constituents where government has let them down, treated them badly or failed to apply its own rules fairly, and to listen to constituents who have advice on how laws and government policies should be changed to make life better.  Constituents often stray beyond their relations with national government into their relations with Councils and sometimes even their contractual relations with private sector suppliers and employers. The MP has most chance of helping with national government, where more direct access to Ministers can sometimes trigger a review of an action or policy which resolves the problem, or where legal change can sometimes  be generated to fix the problem for the future. I work with local Councillors on local matters, as the Councillors have privileged access to local officers that the MP does not have. Just as collectively MPs can change offending national laws, so Councillors collectively can change offending local policies.  Occasionally an MP  letter to a private sector company that is misbehaving can help , but as a general rule contractual disputes between constituents and private companies are best worked out in direct dialogue with the company and through the usual complaints processes available.

Attending an MP’s surgery does not give the constituent sanctuary from the law. Whilst an MP will handle information carefully, in order to process a complaint or resolve a problem with government the MP will usually have to share the information with the government. I wish to repeat that if someone comes to my surgery they should understand I have no special privilege to give them  to protect them from the law, and will normally share their information with the authorities to seek to resolve their issue. If someone is living in Wokingham as an illegal migrant and they wish to seek legal permission to stay then I will assist them if they have a sensible case by contacting  the authorities, but I cannot give them some indemnity or help them cover up their illegal status. Similarly if someone comes to me and tells me they have not paid tax I am happy to take up their case with the authorities if they believe they do not have to pay the tax or if they think their assessment is wrong, but I am not in the business of condoning tax evasion and have no blessings to give to tax law breakers.

Quite often an MP has to explain to a constituent that the law is as it is for a good reason, and they like everyone else will just have to accept it  even though they do not like it. Sometimes  I find advising someone not to pursue a complaint but to accept the world as it is can prove  to be good advice which they accept. You can cause yourself a lot of trouble and distress by pursuing complaints that are not going to result in a  good outcome. Show me a just cause and a clear unfairness from government and I will fight tenaciously to have the injustice remedied.

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77 Comments

  1. Bob Dixon
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    The writer of the lobby email needs to be investigated.

    • CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
      Posted October 15, 2018 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      There there. Attention is being sported as the thing to have in regard to the
      Human Beings
      in Parliament. Only the MSM and a splattering of MPs think MPs are worthy of a heard whisper at the moment.
      Outside Parliament and away from “MPs surgeries”, people(?) are busy at work.
      “Up and down the country” sweethearts are “working tirelessly” with a job, “feeding their families” , “their sleeves rolled up” “looking to a bright future” ” for their families”

    • Peter
      Posted October 15, 2018 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

      The brass neck of illegal migrants who venture into an MPs surgery beggars belief.

      That is some sense of entitlement.

      It is the fault of the small number of British people who put them up to it I suppose.

  2. Nig l
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    An ideal subject for a fly on the wall tv documentary. You could become a Reality star next.

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 15, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Talking of (potential) reality stars, there’s a good article in Prospect Magazine this morning(google-able):-

      “An island apart,the inside story of how the Foreign Office is failing to prepare for Brexit”15/10/18.

      They would,apparently,rather be tweeting pictures of Palmerston(the office cat) than Brexit.

      • Hope
        Posted October 15, 2018 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

        May asked several times about the end date of her punishment extension by lots of Tory MPs today and each time she fudged giving a clear, precise, definitive answer. May is treacherous and is going for a backstop in perpetuity using it as a permanent way to remain in the EU hoping we change our minds!

        What on earth is the cabinet thinking to support her! Get rid of her.

  3. Cheshire Girl
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    I think that it is shocking that you are being asked to sign that pledge. What message does it send out to those who would live here illegally!

    The Government did the same thing with Grenfell. They are so keen to be thought of as ‘caring’, they jump in far too soon. MPs should not be asked to aid those breaking the law. Whatever next!!

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Indeed that is all someone can reasonably expect of their MP in dealing with a problem they have.

    Bear in mind too that an accountant is actually under an obligation to shop clients to the tax authorities if they tell him anything they have done that might be illegal. Not so with lawyers though.

    Matt Hancock, brandishing his NHS badge (it did not seem to have a needless deaths caused so far counter on it – as modern technology might enable) was on Marr yesterday. Talking of the EU deal “time limited” but without a specific end date (some other ways he said) – the May’s disastrous, poisonous fudge agenda.

    He even said “I like John Major very much”. Perhaps this is why he and May seem so very keen to bury the Conservative party yet again, for many terms, in a similar way to John ERM Major. Making us suffer Corbyn/SNP and a trip to Venezuela where the NHS will for certain get far, far worse.

    Still not to worry, if you survive the rationed, delayed and very poor quality medical treatment of the NHS they are going into the dance industry by prescription for lonely people it seems. Perhaps they could run them during the three hours you have to wait at A&E to make the time pass more quickly and forget about you hernia or gall bladder for a while?

    Rather like that trite NHS tribute at the opening of the London Olympics perhaps.

  5. Sign of the Times
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    JR that is clear.
    Some people believe that their MP is really the Head of the Head of the Council. I made that mistake. The Head of the Council does not have surgeries, not where I live.

    Yet he is photographed in the company of the MP on doorstep canvassing. He appears on electoral leaflets showing himself and the MP side by side with the prospective Councillor.
    Rank and role is attributed by the recipient of the leaflet at first, second, third look.
    A Team:. Manager, Captain, footballers.

    The Owner of Goods for Sale Company, a Party member, is not on the leaflet.

    MP, Head of Council and Councillor should have a sign, on their coats:

    “It’s not me you want, it’s him” ” He’s the Messiah”-> ” No I’m not he is->” ” Not me, it’s him->” Now that IS clear!

    • sm
      Posted October 15, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Your Council Leader is a Ward Councillor, and can be contacted as such – s/he and possible colleagues may hold surgeries. Unfortunately, even some ward councillors do not bother to maintain any contact with their constituents.

    • Beecee
      Posted October 15, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      All the Councillors in the District where I live hold surgeries whereas I am not aware if the County Councillor for our area does.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Folic acid will be added to flour to prevent birth defects I read. At last something sensible from this appalling government.

    Floride in the water supply (in areas where levels are naturally low) would be very sensible too while you are at it, saving billions in dentistry. It seems currently that only around 10% get the optimum level in their water. It would cost a trivial sum to do. Perhaps less than one millionth or so of the sum saved in NHS dentistry costs. In both cases the fact have been know for years yet almost nothing has been done by our politicians.

    • sm
      Posted October 15, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      On the other hand, too much fluoride can have deleterious cardiac effects, and some doctors I know are very much against it being an automatic addition to water.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 15, 2018 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        Well it is naturally present in many areas and does not seem to cause much problem.

    • Cliff. Wokingham
      Posted October 15, 2018 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      So LL, you are in favour of mass medicating of the population by the state with no opt out? What Medication might they decide to force on us next?

      • Mitchel
        Posted October 16, 2018 at 9:42 am | Permalink

        Good question given the government’s obsession with “mental health issues” and an ever-narrowing definition of what are acceptable behaviours and views.

        Rather than comparing the EU with the Soviet Union,we need to be looking much closer to home.

        For those who are unaware do a little research into the Soviet programme to engineer the “Homo Sovieticus” through psychology and “education”.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 20, 2018 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

        Sometimes yes the case is overwhelming for folic acid, but people could be allowed to opt out by buying flour without the additive and then baking.

    • Chris Dark
      Posted October 15, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      Forced medication. People have the option to take folic acid supplements if they choose. I also don’t approve of fluoridation and neither would many if they knew how it was done. Fluoridated water is only effective when applied directly to the teeth, i.e when brushing them. However we all end up ingesting it through normal drinking. I wonder whose birth defects the government is thinking of?

    • David Price
      Posted October 15, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      My father was a dentist, became an independent local councilor and campaigned against giving government at any level blanket approval to put flouride or anything in the water supply on health grounds and did not trust government to act wisely anyway.

      It is in no way sensible to give government the ability to add what they like to our food and water and goes against what I believe a conservative government should do.

    • Helen Smith
      Posted October 15, 2018 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      No, medicating the entire population, without permission, with no regard to individual circumstances is a terrible idea. If women plan a pregnancy they can get supplements, probably free on the NHS, teeth can be looked after with fluoride toothpaste. Florida is a by product of a industry, they want us to use it so they can be paid for it rather than have img to pay to dispose of it.

  7. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    This story is without a conclusion. So where does this leave you vis a vis the document you received? Signed or unsigned?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted October 15, 2018 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      By signing it, surely MPs won’t therefore be in a position to assist illegal immigrants by contacting third parties, even if they wanted to?
      A kind of neat Catch 22 situation.

  8. Iain Gill
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    So the NHS is to hand out dance lessons but cannot afford trigger finger or hemmaroid operations? Sheer absolute madness WHERE THE PROPER POLITICAL OVERSIGHT OF THE IDIOTS RUNNING THIS FAILING ORGANISATION?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 15, 2018 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      Exactly. Thought process goes or there is a popular dance programme on TV lets use that to pretend we are doing something with the NHS. Oh much concern over plastics in the sea (with good TV footage) how can we climb on that band wagon too?

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted October 15, 2018 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Ian

      The problem is with the system, and availability of money from different budgets.

      Dance lessons are available in most Local Authority areas, but can cost a small fortune because LA’s put up the cost of renting the halls, because the Government have cut budgets, thus many dance clubs have ceased.

      Same with foreign languages, at one time it was possible to go to a low cost lesson in the evenings, now they cost hundreds of pounds because of LA’s fees for halls and courses. So few bother.

      Same for keep fit classes, hire of football pitches etc etc, the costs is rising by huge amounts every year.

      Its the true cost of unintended consequences, instead of Councils cutting back on staffing costs and trying to work more efficiently, they cut back at the point of use, but still retain the same fixed overheads.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 15, 2018 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

        The problem is a government without sensible leadership, a sense of direction and has no sense of what are the real priorities and what are not.

      • Steve
        Posted October 15, 2018 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

        Alan Jutson

        “…thus many dance clubs have ceased.”

        Not a bad thing in my opinion. I mean what kind of message does it send to the rest of the world ?

        Don’t mess with the British, they can dance and bake pretty looking cakes and stuff.

        A better idea would be archery, sailing, rifle proficiency, swordsmanship, wrestling. The kind of things we used to do when we were a highly respected
        nation.

        ” ….instead of Councils cutting back on staffing costs and trying to work more efficiently, they cut back at the point of use, but still retain the same fixed overheads ”

        Ain’t that the truth. Local authorities always clobber the end user. After all they need to protect their big fat pensions and enjoy CSMA membership, forgetting the fact that as civil servants they are supposed to serve us. They want the pensions and perks, but not the servant bit, such is the very high opinion they have of themselves.

        Complain or demand value for money and they blame the government, every time.

  9. Dunkirk Spirit
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    And I’m glad Corbyn wil never ever allow him real power>Long Live Corby. He knows the fools.

  10. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile we have little idea as to who will be arriving legally or illegally in 6 months time. It’d be nice to see definitive policy before we leave the EU for what happens after independence day!

  11. Alan Jutson
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    All sounds logical and sensible.

  12. sm
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    One wonders whether this lobby would also expect an MP to keep quiet if a constituent admitted to being an undiscovered murderer, rapist or thief?

  13. Dunkirk man waking
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    I’ve got a sneaking feeling he sensed I can take quite good care of myself. I don’t know why.

  14. Lifelogic
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    “You can cause yourself a lot of trouble and distress by pursuing complaints that are not going to result in a good outcome” indeed you can. Or even ones that are only perhaps 50/50 for a good outcome.

    The largely parasitic legal industry makes a fortune by often encouraging such actions. The system seem to be designed to encourage it. Many litigation lawyers start off saying you have an excellent and very strong (90% perhaps) case, as indeed often does the lawyer acting for the other side. By the time of the case they usually both say it is about 50/50 and most of the money usually ends up with the lawyers win or lose. Regardless of the quality of their “expertise” and work.

    Start by making NHS patients sign to accept a set compensation sum for adverse outcomes and to insure themselves if they want to for higher levels. Then all these medical negligence lawyers could retrain and get a more productive and useful jobs instead.
    I am sure they would then all be happier.

  15. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Illegal immigrants have by definition shown that they will break laws when they perceive it to be to their advantage.

    Once they are here what is to stop them breaking further laws to gain advantage. Why do many of us assume these people deserve the benefit of the doubt?

    An example from the papers today shows a planefull of travellers preventing the deportation of an illegal because he claimed to be being removed from his family. The passengers assumed this to be the case and took his side over the authorities.

    It is reported in the papers the deportee was being removed when half way through a jail term for a heinous crime against a female.

    Illegals should not automatically garner our sympathy, that way anarchy lies.

    • Pragmatist
      Posted October 15, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      I have as much pity for them as they would have for me if I entered their country either legally or illegally. If I were to act according to their own values on pity I would be imprisoned for quite some time. I’d hate jail.

  16. MickN
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Are you going to tell us the source of this lobby email?
    Asking you to sign up to this is to condone the breaking of our laws and is a disgrace. I wonder how many MPs will sign up to this? There are a lot without your integrity.

  17. Mark B
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    The law is the law and the term, illegal, is against the law. Therefore anyone who has entered the UK unlawfully, ie not with our knowledge and consent, is acting against the law. Hence the term, illegal.

    Many of the people trying to enter the UK illegally do so for economic reason. They seek a better life. You cannot blame them but, the asylum system was created for those fleeing for their safety and no other.

    Under the asylum rules people entering the UK illegally must be return back to their last destination. Unfortunately those doing so destroy their paperwork. The rules need to be changed so that, any persons with no documentation cannot reasonably be said to be an asylum seeker and their application to remain harmed.

    I am sorry, but it is time to get tough. There are people out there who are making large sums of money out of bogus asylum seekers and trafficking illegals. By not reporting illegals we are encouraging criminality and aiding organised crime. I cannot for the life of me why a law maker would therefore seek to break the law.

  18. margaret
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Well said ; I feel the same and it is very interesting that some think that the law does not apply to them. There are legal titles , legal positions and other points of law which may be too hard for some to abide to as they have not followed the correct route, but the difficulty they are faced with can be overcome by going through the correct routes.

    There are problems trying to execute this though as bands of people take the power into their own hands and blatantly ignore the rules. They agree with those in power to whose advantage it is to change the law for their own, often financial gain. The police will not be interested and call these civil problems , meaning it should be in the hands of a solicitor and any complainant would have to pay huge amounts to a solicitor.

    Recently in my town there has been posters high for the population to see which talks about fraud being illegal and a police matter. Fraud ruins peoples lives and victims are left to pay the price for criminals , yet the complaints are not addressed as they should be. No one wants to take responsibility and will be bias to some even in the wrong ( to save hassle) Omission can be just as devastating as wrong action and I can only ask MP’s not to take any notice of these lobbyists requests.

  19. Adam
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Responsible citizens should report illegality. A lobby email seeking to conceal illegal evidence from the authorities may be tantamount to promoting crime. It is probably similar to hiding or destroying evidence to hamper police in pursuit of their duty, & could be an offence in itself.

    • bigneil
      Posted October 15, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Some years ago I tried to report some very suspicious activity. I managed to get the number of the vehicle and knew they had turned into an industrial estate, with no other way out.. I drove back about a mile and found a police officer in a car and went across, telling them the details and registration. Instead of the expected “Thank you” and them driving off I was told to get in their car, where they got out a form and demanded MY name, date of Birth, address, both home and mobile numbers, broadband provider, mobile provider, how long I had lived at my address etc etc etc. I was absolutely disgusted at this blatant data gathering, while a possible criminal had chance to get away. Never again. They expect the public to help them – -after this farce I can see why people don’t.

  20. Richard1
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    I hope the virtue signallers who were – absurdly – able to prevent the deportation on a plane will be prosecuted for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

    • Stred
      Posted October 15, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      Can anyone explain why a criminal being deported to Somalia is being flown to Turkey. Are they kept in custody by the Turks, then flown the same distance across Saudi to be dropped off? More likely they will come straight back to May’s madhouse.

  21. Anonymous
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    We have a due process for people doubtful about their own legal status.

    They (as we do) have to trust our hierarchy of professionals – from police to judges – and their judgement.

    Otherwise immunity is handing illegals even more privilege than we have. They have broken the law to get here and the ease with which they could do it was a major cause of Brexit. They may also be able to influence politicians that they are ineligible to vote for.

    Could I expect to live in America/Canada/Australia without a visa and try to influence a sitting politician ?

  22. agricola
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    All sounds very sensible. Congratulations on being the only one talking sense on ITV GMB this morning. The other two contributors, an exaggeration in reality, were just noise generators.

  23. Yorkie
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    They never seem to do many polls on whether we’ve changed our mind…about Brexit.
    I think it must being faced wih yellow sharp pointed teeth that puts them off. And, someone commenting on the question a hundred yards away. With their back turned. Eeerie

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 15, 2018 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      The one I was foolish enough to take part in (our local high street) saw me hectored and ridiculted in public from the moment I put a pro Brexit mark on question board.

      I ended up not completing it and walking away, such was the aggression against me. I thought the objective was to see if I’d changed my mind – not to make me change it.

      • Norman
        Posted October 15, 2018 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

        Anon: It’s an indication that you’re on the right side – you should have stood your ground! Cambridge students I know had the same reaction. Doesn’t it all show exactly the spirit of what we’re dealing with?!

  24. Roy Grainger
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Interesting that the left-wing here are always so in thrall to the USA that they just parrot whatever is fashionable over there at the moment – I thought we were supposed to look to our partners in the EU first ? – this time it’s the USA “sanctuary city” policy. Surprised if they referred to them as “illegal migrants” though, the preferred phrase is “undocumented migrants”.

  25. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Off this topic but of great topical importance:

    https://openeurope.org.uk/intelligence/britain-and-the-eu/no-deal-the-economic-consequences-and-how-they-could-be-mitigated/

    “In a new report, Open Europe argues that a No Deal exit from the European Union would be sub-optimal and would entail some material costs. However, we find that the medium-term impact on UK economic growth would be relatively small, both in absolute terms and relative to other factors that are likely to affect the UK economy.”

    Their conclusion is that the cost of UK withdrawal from the European Union without a preferential trade deal would be equivalent to an annual drag on growth of -0.17% a year for 13 years to 2030, working out as a cumulative loss of just 2.2% of GDP.

    Which as I calculate would be a barely perceptible 2.2% loss from 37.9% growth at the long term trend rate of natural growth of the UK economy, about 2.5% a year.

    “This economic drag could be reduced to an average reduction in growth of -0.04% a year if the government deploys maximum mitigation measures in the form of unilateral trade liberalisation.”

    Note that the scenario being considered is one in which the UK leaves the EU without a special or preferential trade deal, not one in which the UK leaves without any agreement on anything at all.

    “In summary, we can see no relationship between the cold numbers of our economic analysis, which are in line with other comparable studies, and the rhetoric of those who argue that Brexit will make a dramatic difference to Britain’s growth trajectory in either a negative or positive direction. Leaving on WTO terms is not Open Europe’s preferred option but in narrowly economic terms it would not, according to this model, be an unreasonable path for the UK to take, if a negotiated exit was unavailable.”

  26. Oldwulf
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I’m no legal expert.

    However, if the MPs handbook or if there is primary or secondary legislation which says that you must report then you must report. That might be something akin to the money laundering rules which apply to financial institutions and to certain professionals.

    My question is whether or not it is a crime to assist a lawbreaker unless maybe you are a qualified barrister or solicitor.

    If someone comes through your door and asks your assistance maybe you should first seek a written assurance from a qualified barrister or solicitor that they have not broken the law before you help them.

    Presumably the individual who has asked you to sign has legally covered their backside.

  27. Chris
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    What if it were a scam (unlikely I admit) to entrap MPs?

  28. forthurst
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Anyone in the country illegally should be deported automatically; that is the only way of training the third world to obey our laws.

  29. rose
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    “Attending an MP’s surgery does not give the constituent sanctuary from the law. 2

    Does an illegal immigrant have the status of “constituent”?

    (Our MP, a socialist, proudly declares she spends most of her time helping these people.)

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 15, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      Indeed.

      “All are equal before the law” is what is destroying this country, not English nationalism.

      It caused Brexit.

      It’s not the English nationalists setting off bombs or getting all stabby stabby in our cities.

      Alaistair Campbell by his appearance on GMB does not get it that he had a big part in Brexit. If he had any self awareness he would be out of sight.

      A) He cried “Wolf !” too many times

      B) His government made the English second class citizens in their own country

      Cue “So what is English ?” from the usual suspects. To which there is no answer now because the question itself is a trap. It would be illegal to define one’s lineage as such.

    • David
      Posted October 15, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      Good point, I guess your MP is hoping that they will get citizenship and vote for her.
      Tourists are not constituents, so why illegals?

    • APL
      Posted October 15, 2018 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      rose: “(Our MP, a socialist, proudly declares she spends most of her time helping these people.)”

      Labour?

      That was always their plan.

  30. Martin
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    I find it odd that Conservatives forget the way the world was 50 years ago when the Windrush people came to the UK. In those days the UK border inspector looked at your passport and either

    1) Waved you in
    2) Frowned, pulled a long face, flicked through a few pages of your passport and waved you in.
    3) Looked at his list of baddies and followed 2 above
    4) For visitors/immigrants might have stamped your passport and did some paperwork (on real paper) – depends on the mood the inspector was in for what ever reason.

    It was not the database state we have today.

    The Windrush people…………. and did not realise the importance of hanging on to any old stamped passports etc. How many over 60s in general could find their government paper work for 40 years ago?

    So we have people who are legally here but cannot prove it to a standard for today’s database state.


    You comments are generally correct above but I wish some on here would realise that immigration status for some is a nightmare.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 15, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      We also have to realise that examples are being made to show Brexit voters “Well it’s what you wanted ! ” as they eject nurses and quite obviously legal people while allowing newcomers to flood in.

      No. It’s not what we wanted.

      (If I had emigrated to Australia my immigration papers would have been in a vault. I would not have rested until they were there. There are some things that you just do not lose.)

      • Martin
        Posted October 15, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink

        You or I might have kept the paperwork but others do not.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted October 15, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        I did emmigrate for a period and my status was something of which I was acutely aware.

        I had every piece of paper needed, documented.

        Now my wife is here as a naturalised immigrant. Her paperwork is treated as more important than house deeds, car V5 documents and any of the other necessary paperwork of life. I will always know where they are and what they say.

  31. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Again off-topic, here’s a little letter I’ve just sent to some national newspapers:

    “Fair play, under the clever and determined leadership of Leo Varadkar the Irish have done exceedingly well by persuading the EU that the UK should remain shackled to the EU customs union and the EU single market in perpetuity, with the Irish government holding the only key which could release us. Of course they have had some help from the UK government in accomplishing this, but congratulations are still due.”

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 15, 2018 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      http://www.cityam.com/265653/theresa-may-refuses-set-end-date-uk-leave-eu-customs-union

      “Theresa May refuses to set end date for when the UK will leave the EU customs union”

      Of course, because she’s agreed that the Irish government will decide whether the UK can escape from the EU customs union and single market rules.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted October 15, 2018 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      I suspect the Irish have to play this game, not due to the Good Friday agreement but so as to keep a fast route to EU for its exports – the Irish road traffic through the UK. I think the best backstop solution for the Republic would be no physical border with UK, but customs checks between the Republic and EU. This would allow the predominantly road route from Ireland to EU to continue and ncourage as frictionless as possible between UK and EU. I cannot see the Irish govt wanting to lose the land bridge shortcut to EU.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 16, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

        http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2018/10/14/mrs-may-damages-the-union-she-wants-to-defend/#comment-966460

        “According to some predictions UK withdrawal from the EU could cause a greater percentage loss of GDP to Ireland than to the UK itself or to any other EU member state; it seems obvious to me that is why the new Irish government is determined to keep the UK, or at least the very least Northern Ireland, under the rules of both the EU Customs Union and the EU Single Market, and is prepared to use the threat of renewed terrorism to that end … “

  32. Stred
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    MPs may need surgery if they vote for a Brino or non-Brexit and 17m constituents turn up at their surgeries.

    • CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
      Posted October 15, 2018 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      @Stred
      I don’t think MPs are in any danger. I don’t have any way of knowing.

  33. Roy Grainger
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Off topic, but amused to hear of Ruth Davison yesterday threatening to quit and wittering on about her red lines if May’s latest deal is accepted. Only a month ago she was lecturing the likes of John (from the Telegraph).

    “Speaking at an event in Edinburgh promoting her new book, she told them their job was to “get behind” Mrs May during the Brexit talks.”

    So, in summary, MPs have to support Mrs May but only when she proposes something Ruth Davison agrees with.

  34. Den
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    My my! Just where is this country going to, when MPs are now asked to turn a blind eye to a criminal. And an illegal immigrant is a criminal because they have entered our country illegally. This country has become over populated already as is demonstrated in lack of Housing, the overloaded NHS and our diminishing Welfare State provisions. So why would we open a door to even more who will come here? Because we are naively too generous to all. And all of the money handed to them has to be taken away from those that have to earn it.

  35. Edwardm
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    The lobbyist is acting against the interests of the British people and should be investigated. MPs should uphold the interests of the British people and in the case of illegal immigrants that come to their attention should be reported.
    Also our borders should be more rigorously policed, and illegal immigrants should be deported in short time.

  36. Andy
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Do you fight injustice where a policy you support is the cause of that injustice?

    For example, if a constituent is worried about their right to free movement being taken away – because it has serious implications for their career or family life?

    Or, if a constituent has been made homeless and is forced to rely on food banks because of failures in universal credit?

    I find it interesting what MPs do when their own personal view diametrically opposes the interests of a constituent. Where can a constituent get help of their own MP is either unwilling or unable to?

    I ask this in all seriousness because you must have had plenty of correspondence from Remain voting constituents who are concerned about the personal impact of your Brexit on them.

  37. zorro
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Not a good idea, you make yourself liable under Part III Section 25 (1) (2) of the Immigration Act 1971!!

    zorro

  38. ian
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Helping illegal immigrant is a criminal offence, you have laws that MPs themselves pasted in parliament, it a criminal offence for a landlord to house them and to employ them, as well as other to report them if you know they are an illegal immigrant if any MP is found helping them should have the full weight of law to answer to and suspended from parliament till the next election, parliament should launch a full investigation into the matter and any human right activists, lawyers, or officials helping them brought to justices and organisations shut down.

  39. Steve
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    JR

    “Show me a just cause and a clear unfairness from government and I will fight tenaciously to have the injustice remedied.”

    Ok, we’re on. Get rid of Theresa May, her being PM and pretending to be a patriot is an injustice to millions.

    Cheers

  40. Jack snell
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    So let me see if I can get this clear..Mrs May promised a backstop as part of the divorce agreement back in December and again in a letter in March and now to negate the effectiveness of this, because the DUP won’t agree, she wants a deal for the future where UK as a whole will be included in a customs Union, but only for a limited period of time because the ERG and the EU won’t agree.. So now the EU wants a backstop to the backstop just in case that following the divorce agreement there is no trade agreement at all between UK and EU for the future..wow! here it’s getting tricky

  41. MickN
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Sir, did my ears deceive me or did Mrs May say that a “No deal” would have to be voted on in Parliament? Is that not second referendum territory?

  42. Steve
    Posted October 15, 2018 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    I must admit this lobby e-mail asking MP’s to grant anonymity to illegal immigrants is a new one on me.

    I’m not familiar with the mechanism of law concerning this, but I’d certainly think the mere act of asking someone to break the law must be an offence in itself, surely ?

    For example; Fraud has no distinction between attempted and actual. Anyone who attempts fraud, is guilty of fraud in the eyes of the law.

    Maybe attempting to pervert the course of justice, conspiracy to commit offence, aiding and abetting perhaps ?

    As far as I was aware it is only a priest who has the necessary dispensation to withhold information.

    It’s quite shocking really, to think that someone is lobbying MP’s to allow illegal immigrants an opportunity to avoid apprehension, and do so outside of lawful procedure, must be, I’m pretty sure a criminal offence.

    I suggest the police / immigration authorities should be aware this is going on, and whoever is doing it should have their identity revealed.

    It needs to be established whether or not a political party or some government official is behind it, because if that is the case it would be a very serious matter.

  43. Waggle
    Posted October 16, 2018 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Us Brits believe in helping the police to enforce the law. It’s our public duty to help preserve law and order.

    My Mum took me straight to the police station as soon as she discovered I had shoplifted an item from Woolworths.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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