Backbench MPs don’t get enough praise for the hard work they do

Sir David Amess has rightly been held up as an example as a constituency MP – backbenchers are a colossal feature of a parliamentary democracy, writes Salma Shah

Wednesday 20 October 2021 17:29
<p>Tributes were paid to Sir David Amess in the Commons on Monday </p>

Tributes were paid to Sir David Amess in the Commons on Monday

It is difficult to add anything new to the sentiments shared by many that describe so fervently the respect with which Sir David Amess was held. Nor can further horror be expressed at the manner of his death. It is a tragedy, for his family, for his community and for all of us who lost a servant who epitomises every quality we value in public life.

In nearly 40 years of service to his country he never faltered in his duties to his constituents, never showed dissatisfaction with his standing. His position has been rightly described as a vocation not a career, so this is not simply a lament for his loss; instead, it’s a celebration of the special political breed to which he belonged. The noble backbench MP.

Backbenchers are often overlooked as attention is always focused on decision-makers in the ministerial ranks but the real guts of politics belong in the backbenches. Although in practical terms the backbencher wields little real power, the course of history has been altered more than once by an effective backbench campaign.

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