Andrew rebelled over Theresa May’s Brexit negotiations. He joined the European Research Group (ERG) with Julia Lopez to force a change.1 Then Covid-19 struck. Once again he rebelled as successive lockdowns were inflicted. Restrictions are probably going to be extended missing the 21st June target date.
Andrew has been disappointed by Conservative prime ministers twice. He said in parliament, “….I cannot justify…a fundamental assault on….liberties and livelihoods. Removing people’s most fundamental rights and freedoms and confining them to their homes is a political decision.” (my emphasis)2 Andrew objected to Johnson’s focus on Covid-19. He said other illnesses were neglected causing untold harm.
Johnson sacked him, “Romford MP Andrew Rosindell….called his sacking “counterproductive and bizarre” as he hit out at Mr Johnson in a Twitter rant. Over the past week he has been highly critical of the Prime Minister’s three tier lockdown plan, which he said would inflict huge damage on the economy and people’s mental health.”3
Andrew believed in Johnson and has been disappointed. Johnson’s sell-out Brexit deal has left agriculture, fishing, northern Ireland and Wales in total disarray.4 Meanwhile Covid-19 has shown him at his dithering (corrupt?) worst. Johnson has out-sourced policy to advisors to Andrew’s dismay.
The Gallows Corner flyover is a notorious ‘temporary’ structure.1It’s so old it could be listed as an architectural treasure for permanent preservation. Andrew Rosindell, MP for nineteen years, hasn’t solved the problem. He’s been thwarted by Boris Johnson.
Andrew said in 2018, “Gallows Corner is one of the most dangerous road junctions in Greater London, after having made representations for its improvement over many years, I am happy to see it shortlisted as one of first five improvement schemes in Government’s Major Road Network.”2 (my emphasis) Chris Grayling made the promise, which proves central government holds the purse strings.3
Ever hopeful, Andrew used a 2020 PMQ to elicit Johnson’s intervention. Johnson said,“I can ensure my honourable friend that we are working with TfL to see what we can do to resolve the issue of Gallows Corner, and we will update him in due course.”4
Obviously Johnson’s 2014 prediction was forgotten. “[Johnson]….confirmed that work by TfL to improve the Gallows Corner junction will be completed in 18 months.”5 And Roger Evans, Conservative chair of Transport, got this from him, “Thank you very much, Roger. The issue is topmost in TfL. Thank you very much for raising it on behalf of your constituents….improvements should be completed by the spring of 2016.”6(my emphasis)
Johnson has squandered £43 million on an unbuilt ‘Garden Bridge’. Johnson’s other fantasy project is the cable car link in Docklands at a cost to London of £23 million, which continually loses money.7 The Gallows Corner flyover improvement is costed at £50 million for thousands of users each year. Traffic jams are incredibly expensive and there’s a huge environmental cost.
Andrew didn’t go to Eton or Oxford and isn’t a Johnson crony. Need I say more?
3 For the source of funding he said, The programme allows councils to bid for improvements to local A-roads and it’s part of the biggest road investment since the 1970s as each of the shortlistedschemes will be eligible for up to £50m of funding.“(my emphasis)In 2018 in Parliament Andrew identified the government as the solution but was brushed off by the minister A12: Gallows Corner Roundabout – Thursday 5 July 2018 – Hansard – UK Parliament
There were three Covid-19 debates on 6th January and the principal one was led by Boris Johnson. The other two were Education and Health. Andrew Rosindell made two contributions. One briefly in the Education debate and the other at greater length in the Matt Hancock led debate. But astonishingly the most pertinent contribution for Havering came from Barking MP Margaret Hodge.*
My local hospital, Queen’s, is one of many that is facing critical pressure on the supply of oxygen to patients. Demand for oxygen is running at 100% or more of the supply available. Will the Prime Minister assure me and my constituents that action is being taken to ensure a safe and secure supply of oxygen? Will he tell me what contingency plans he has in place to ensure that hospitals are not overwhelmed and closed, critically ill patients are not moved, and every patient receives the right amount of oxygen when needed?
Boris Johnson replied
I am very grateful to the right hon. Lady. I will immediately look into the matter that she raises about oxygen at Queen’s Hospital. It had not been drawn to my attention before, but we will make sure that we get back to her as soon as we can.
Margaret Hodge showed how powerful a parliamentary debate can be, especially when the Prime Minister is present.
Keith Prince is Havering’s1 Conservative GLA member and was awarded a full page in Havering Council’s taxpayer funded Living in Havering magazine, April 2019.2 As he wrote this himself he must believe it puts him in a good light, in which case he’s made a tragic error of judgement. It shows him to be an appallingly ineffective representative for Havering.
Keith’s article begins by quoting himself. “On a daily basis, I fight for the transport upgrades that we so desperately need in Havering.” This is to get the reader in the mood for his dynamism. Even allowing for the hyperbole of a politician on the make, this is ludicrous. Keith was chair of the GLA’s Transport committee in the year 2017- 8. He was a ‘mover and shaker’ but nothing moved or shook, at least not so far as Havering was concerned. Perhaps Redbridge benefited?
Keith, rightly, identifies two major problems in Havering. The ‘perennial’ Gallows Corner fly-over and Ardleigh Green Bridge roadworks. Keith claims to have been ‘banging the drum’ over Gallows Corner. Well I went through the papers for his year as chair and found nothing.3 Perhaps I missed something- “a drum being banged” “…TfL’s feet being held to the fire”- for example.
Keith has moved out of the shadows with this article. In broad daylight he looks ineffective. Now he has a motive for improving his performance. He’s got two weeks before the next election, which in a Johnson sleaze atmosphere might be bracing.
1 Strictly speaking he is Havering and Redbridge’s GLA member. So perhaps he’s putting in more time on their problems to Havering’s detriment
3 All I could find was an exchange between Mayor Johnson and Roger Evans, Havering’s previous GLA member, on the 22nd October 2014, where Johnson promised to come to Havering to look for himself. Evans grovelled to Johnson in an entertaining way.