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Council Leader clashes with Crawley MP over votes on N.Ireland’s abortion & same sex marriage

Crawley Borough Council Leader and Labour Parliamentary candidate, Cllr Peter Lamb, has clashed with Crawley MP Henry Smith after revealing that the towns MP did not vote on enabling access to abortion and same sex marriage in Northern Ireland.

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Only last week the House of Commons passed passed the measure, providing women in Northern Ireland with the right to access an abortion and same-sex Northern Irish couples the right to marry for the first time.

But in a press release the Council Leader says that in both cases, Crawley’s MP failed to cast a vote.

Commenting on Mr Smith’s absences, Cllr Lamb said:

“This was an opportunity for all decent men and women in Parliament to stand up and be counted. Unfortunately, when the time came Crawley’s MP was nowhere to be found, leaving residents wondering just how far women and the LGBT community can rely upon Mr Smith to defend their basic rights.

But Mr Smith has hit back saying:

“I didn’t vote against those measures but absented myself from these votes as they are matters for the people of Northern Ireland to decide and should not be dictated by Westminster. To overrule devolved issues risks the Good Friday Agreement.

The first couple of votes would have mandated same sex marriage and abortion in Northern Ireland. I think Northern Ireland should have a referendum on these matters.

Later in the evening I voted on measures to encourage Northern Ireland to change the law in line with the rest of the uk but without mandating them.

The vote which took place on 9th July saw MPs voted 383 to 73 to legalise same-sex marriage and by 332 to 99 to legalise abortion.

Henry Smith

Henry Smith MP: Roll-out of vaccine is a feat our country can be proud of

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The roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine is a feat which our country can be proud of. I am grateful for the dedication of NHS staff and all the workers and volunteers involved in protecting our nation at this time.

At locations throughout Sussex, including at Crawley Hospital, people are receiving Covid vaccines as part of our fightback against the virus.

There are now more than 1,000 GP services and over 250 hospital sites now offering vaccinations in England.

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust is the lead provider for the vaccination programme locally and they are looking for people to play their part in the vaccine roll-out.

The NHS are calling for potential vaccinators and volunteers to help protect millions of people from Covid, and want people who are able to work as flexibly as possible, including at evenings and weekends. I am grateful to everyone who has signed up already with more opportunities still available.

If you would like to help or are interested in finding out more, please click here for information from the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, and click here if you are interested in other volunteering opportunities as part of the NHS Volunteer Responder scheme.

Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

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