Last week we revealed that Eltham Labour MP Clive Efford, missed an urgent Parliamentary question on the NHS/Patient Safety in the Chamber of the House of Commons on Tuesday 24th June, 2014.
This was followed by denials by local Labour activists and calls for us to apologise. Even Efford himself, tweeted that he was there – arrogantly stating “They should have gone to Specsavers!”.
The urgent NHS question was tabled by Shadow Labour Health Secretary, Andy Burnham.
We have now had a Parliamentary expert closely review the footage of the House of Commons proceedings from that day and we can reveal Efford is not even present in the House of Commons Chamber for any part of the discussion on NHS Patient Safety – let alone take stand up and speak – for this very important Parliamentary business on the NHS.
The fact he wasn’t present is bad enough, but then to try and cover it up, when exposed, is scandalous.
.@cawalsh Hansard 24/6/14 shows I asked a question of George Osborne at 12:30 and then voted at 4:23. They should have gone to Specsavers!
— Clive Efford (@CliveEfford) January 29, 2015
Watching the whole footage of the debate on the urgent NHS question, the camera throughout the debate regularly covers all angles of the Chamber and we are able to account for all the MP’s that are present in the Chamber for the NHS urgent question and Efford isn’t one of them!
Efford was in the Chamber for Treasury questions immediately before the NHS business started – we had already stated that, when we first exposed him bunking off work. However, he leaves the Chamber when the House moves to the NHS urgent business – our central question is, what was he doing that was so much more important than the NHS? After all, this is what the people of Eltham pay him £67,000 a year to do, so we would hope that he has a decent excuse for skipping work and leaving Eltham unrepresented on this extremely important issue.
So today, we ask Efford to answer the following questions (after all, we the Constituents of Eltham pay his wages and employ him and it is our democratic right to hold our MP to account – like any reasonable employer would):
- What was he doing that meant he couldn’t attend urgent NHS question business in the Chamber of the House of Commons on Tuesday 24th June 2014? We are very interested to know what is more important than the NHS. (Again it is worth pointing out that he was in the Chamber before the NHS business started for Treasury Questions but left when the House moved on to discuss the NHS
- Did he attend Wimbledon on Tuesday 24th June 2014?
- Why does his entry in the House of Commons Register of Members Interests state that he attended Wimbledon on Tuesday 24th June 2014 to have lunch in the Royal Box (two tickets) at Wimbledon (total value of donation £2,400), if he is saying that he didn’t go?
- On what date/times did he attend Wimbledon in 2014?
We hope that Efford doesn’t object to our questions and providing transparency for the public who pay his wages.
For those that want to see the evidence for themselves:
Register of Members Interests
Parliament TV footage of the House of Commons Chamber from Tuesday 24th June 2014. Efford is present for Treasury Questions and can be seen in the place where he always sits (when he’s not on the front bench) on the second row on the right at 12:32:30.
The NHS Urgent Question on Patient Safety starts at 12:35:35 (by which time Efford has left the Chamber) and finishes at 13:23:12.
We have listed below on the shots where you can see that Efford has vacated his place and there is a complete empty bench, where he should be!
We have also carefully watched the footage to ensure that he hasn’t moved places in the Chamber and can confirm that he is not in the Chamber at any point for the NHS Urgent Question discussion on Patient Safety.
The best shot of the Labour benches can be seen at 13:10:31 and at 12:53:00 the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt makes reference to the bad attendance of Labour MP’s on this issue.
Watch Efford NOT in the Chamber at the following points: 12:39:21, 12:45:38, 12:47:16, 12:49:38, 12:50:44, 12:51:46, 12:53:09, 12:54:08, 12:55:57, 12:56:53, 12:58:25, 12:59:23, 13:01:12, 13:02:18, 13:03:28, 13:04:26, 13:05:19, 13:06:26, 13:07:20, 13:08:17, 13:10:02, 13:10:31, 13:10:42, 13:11:59, 13:12:59, 13:14:16, 13:15:32, 13:17:26, 13:18:31, 13:19:28, 13:20:24, 13:20:57 and 13:22:16.
EFFORD MUST APOLOGISE TO THE PEOPLE OF ELTHAM