Is Jedi Jamie following in the footsteps of Junket Jack ?
The MP for Copeland Jamie Reed, is reported in the Telegraph to have made a trip to America as a guest of one of the companies bidding to take over BNFL. The trip was properly declared in the Register of Members’ interests in accordance with the rules. A few days after his return, Mr Reed, nicknamed “Jedi Jamie” after a foolish joke about being the first Jedi MP in his maiden speech, attacked two of the rival potential bidders in the House of Commons.
I have been discussing this with colleagues in Copeland. I don’t think it wrong per se for an MP to make fact-finding visits, properly declared. However, it is very important to make an effort not to give the impression of partiality, especially at this early stage, and perhaps he needs to consider this point carefully.
If one of the bidders who have been criticised by the local MP using parliamentary privilege were to be successful, it might reduce his influence with the new operator in future and hence his ability to lobby on behalf of the thousands of his constituents who will be affected by their decisions.