The nuclear industry is critical both to West Cumbria and to our country. The case for this industry needs to be put in a positive and constructive manner. The MP for Copeland, nicknamed "Jedi Jamie" after he announced in his maiden speech that he was the first Jedi member of parliament, failed to do so this week.
The House of Commons was debating the Local Government and Environment, Food and Rural Affairs sections of the Queen's speech. An MP for Kent was making a speach about the impact of a proposed bridge on his constituency. Up pops the MP for Copeland and asks whether the speaker supports new Nuclear Build, an issue due to be discussed in a later debate on another section of the Queen's speech.
Shortly afterwards, the MP for Copeland caught the speaker's eye, and made a speech himself. He appears to be under the impression that the following comment about his fellow MPs will help him persuade them of the benefits of nuclear power:
"I must say that, for the most part, I have found the understanding of nuclear issues in this House to be nothing short of pathetic — that is the most charitable word I can find."
He went on to misrepresent the position of the opposition by suggesting that the offial Conservative Party policy is anti nuclear - though he did add, rightly in my opinion, that "the majority of Conservative MPs are pro-nuclear."
Jedi Jamie did not stay to hear the answer to his points - perhaps he had gone off to lightsaber practice. But Peter Ainsworth MP, winding up the debate for the Conservatives, made the following respone
"No fewer than 12 hon. Members devoted most of their comments to the Climate Change Bill, and we heard some extremely useful contributions. The hon. Member for Copeland (Mr. Reed), who is not in the Chamber now, struck a slightly different note in focusing on nuclear power, which raised a number of eyebrows among his hon. Friends. In the process, he also managed to misrepresent the views of Her Majesty's Opposition on the subject. No doubt we shall have a full and through discussion of the issue when we debate the energy Bill."