Posted Thursday, 6 March 2008 at 10:22
Playing the man not the ball
I've had a call from the Evening Standard.
The Lib Dem Chairman of the Science and Technology Committee, Phil Willis, has accused me of supporting a reduction from 24 to 20 weeks for abortion - for reasons of 'notoriety'.
As a woman and an ex nurse I thought carefully about my reply.
I have delivered live babies and assisted with successful, live and botched abortions. I'm a mother of daughters and I have been pregnant three times.
I have made abortion an issue since I first arrived at the House of Commons and became an MP, as the readers of my blog will know.
I'm sorry to see that the Chairman has abandoned the argument and decided 'to play the man and not the ball'.
Maybe it’s because he's lost the argument and there isn't an MP in the House of Commons who thinks the committee's report on abortion is worth the paper it's written on - supported by the fact that a survey of MPs shows support for 20 weeks, therefore disregarding the reports conclusions.
Maybe if the report had been fair and balanced and not so overwhelmingly and obviously loaded, he wouldn't have had to reduce himself to the position of attacking individuals, rather than sticking to the substance of the issue.
Whatever, not the kind of behaviour one expects from a committee Chairman.
A post which carries both renumeration and an obligation to be a cut above the party political fray.
When a committee chairman starts to personally attack a committee member for not agreeing with his or her particular point of view, it is time to complain.
Nadine Dorries MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
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