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Has Crawley’s Council Leader just made a clever political chess move?

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At first glance it looks like Crawley’s Labour party has resigned itself to the fact that they are now a minority party in the town.

The invite to call a ‘motion of no confidence’ appears at first to be a suggestion that there ‘should’ be a vote to decide who runs the council, but let’s look at it more closely.

First of all, the invite itself is actually unnecessary. An opposing party can call for the motion at any time they want, they do not need an invite to do so.

So by sending the invite the Crawley Leader is almost tempting the opposing party to call a vote, trying to illustrate to the real voters, the residents, that it is the responsible thing to do.

So why wouldn’t the Conservatives take up the invite?

The real question is actually ‘why would they?’. It may seem odd that a party who wants to run the council would not challenge the current situation but the reality is there is no security that a challenge would even work in their favour.

And this is the very clever part.

For if a motion is called then it falls to a vote of all the councillors, two of which are now independent, and whilst they may no longer be with Labour, they are certainly not Conservatives.

So to think they would vote with the Conservatives would be a very naive expectation.

So, their only real options are to abstain, or to vote with Labour.

If they vote with Labour then the council remains the way it is till the next election in May 21.

But if they abstain then the Conservatives take over control and (the really clever part) the fate of the town falls on their shoulders. This means that any blame of the situation is moved away from the Labour party and directed at two individuals instead.

This political game of chess could not come at a worst time with COVID-19 making such a devastating impact on the town at the moment.

The Conservatives could make the decision to ignore the invite and continue as things stand till next year. Almost test their voting power, so to speak, and then if they find they have the votes then make a decision to call a motion of no confidence at a later date. For there is no rush with this, it is not something they ever had to wait for an invite for.

Of course there is the possibility that this is a genuine offer to call for a motion of no confidence – but this is politics, and does anyone really believe that?

Henry Smith

‘Stop needless suffering of live animal exports’ says Crawley MP

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In his article this week Crawley MP Henry Smith shows his support for Animal Welfare.

‘I am often contacted by Crawley residents who want to see our nation provide greater animal welfare protections, particularly given the opportunities in this regard upon exiting the European Union’s single market.

As a Vice Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare and a Patron of the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, I wholeheartedly agree.

One key area of opportunity is to stop needless suffering of live animals which are being exported for slaughter.

Along with parliamentary colleagues I have campaigned on this issue for some years, with successive UK governments not able to tackle the issue due to the constraints of EU membership.

With the end of the Brexit transition on the horizon, it is right that this Government is looking to the future. The Environment Secretary has launched a consultation aiming to ban live animal exports.

In addition to reducing the risk of potentially severe harms faced by animals being transported due to injury and maltreatment, this would also mean that these animals will no longer have to rely on the welfare laws of other countries, which may fall short of the standards expected in the UK.

Ministers are also consulting on proposals to ensure improvements to animal welfare in transport such as reduced maximum journey times, more space for animals and tighter rules on transporting animals in extreme temperatures.

The Government consultation ‘Improvements to animal welfare in transport’ is open until 28th January 2021. Please click here for more information and to make a submission.’

Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

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