Disgraced Tory asks BBC and ITV to make documentary on ‘good work’ of MPs

Focusing on constituency work would balance ‘scandal and outrage’, says Rob Roberts

Adam Forrest
Tuesday 09 November 2021 10:13
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Boris Johnson refuses to apologise for handling of sleaze scandal

A disgraced Conservative MP who was suspended from parliament for sexual misconduct has called on broadcasters to make a documentary on the “good work” of politicians.

Rob Roberts – the Tory MP who was found by an independent panel to have made “repeated unwanted sexual advances” towards a member of staff – was forced to leave the Commons in May for six weeks.

The MP for Delyn said he had written to BBC and ITV, asking ask them to send camera crews around the country to capture what MPs do for their constituents.

Mr Roberts wrote on Facebook: “We live in particularly febrile times, with much of the public discourse driven by creating scandal and outrage. Often it is justified, sometimes it is not.”

He added: “It is important that people see the good work that MPs of all colours do across the country, and hear from some of the constituents whose lives have been changed for the better.”

The Conservatives confirmed last week that Mr Roberts was a party member again following his 12-week suspension – though the Tories are still withholding the whip from him in the Commons.

Amid the ongoing series of sleaze scandals engulfing the government, Labour has called Mr Robert’s membership reinstatement “a disgrace” and claimed the government was hiding behind a “loophole” preventing a recall petition.

On Monday, Sir Keir Starmer urged Boris Johnson to “work with us” to ensure the Delyn MP faces a recall petition so he can face the “judgement” of the electorate.

However, Mr Roberts insisted that MPs “do a huge amount of good work in their communities” and suggested BBC and ITV’s regional outlets highlight the work of a different politician each day.

He wrote: “I sincerely hope that both the BBC and ITV take this idea on board and give it due consideration to bring just a little bit of balance to a very one-sided situation that is leading to MPs receiving threats and abuse on a daily basis.”

Meanwhile, several national newspapers have rounded on the prime minister over the sleaze row engulfing his party – with some demanding an apology and others calling him a coward for avoiding Monday’s Commons debate on the issue.

Senior Tory MP Mark Harper, the former chief whip, said it was time for Mr Johnson to say sorry to both the public and MPs following the debacle over Owen Paterson and the botched attempt to rewrite conduct rules.

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