The Cash-for-Questions Affair: Tim Smith finds forgiveness

BEACONSFIELD was in a forgiving mood yesterday. While few approved of the actions of their disgraced MP, Tim Smith, the residents of this wealthy Buckinghamshire town overwhelmingly gave him their backing, writes Glenda Cooper.

Mr Smith was driven back to his constituency home, a magnificent Georgian house in the old town, yesterday afternoon by his wife. She efficiently organised the photographs outside their house, while the MP remained quiet, except to repeat solemnly that he had taken a 'painful personal decision which I believe is in the interests of the Prime Minister and the Government'.

Clare Auld, a mother, voiced the majority view: 'Of course I don't approve of what he did, but he did the honourable thing and resigned.

'I do hope he doesn't resign as an MP. It may affect the Conservatives over the country but I'd be very surprised if Beaconsfield was ever anything but Tory.'

But Simon Bradley and Nick Dowler, both computer software engineers, were less charitable. 'I wouldn't vote for him,' said Mr Bradley vehemently.

'Politics is completely corrupt and all these jobs for the boys and the old boys' network makes me sick.'

'He didn't have any choice but to resign,' said Mr Dowler.

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