Sandy Martin disputes claims from Ipswich Conservatives of disrespecting voters
PUBLISHED: 16:00 17 January 2019
Ipswich Labour MP Sandy Martin has insisted he is not disrespecting the views of his constituents by suggesting that a second referendum might be needed to sort out the Brexit problems if all else fails.
He has come under fire from his Conservative opponent at the next general election after the Guido Fawkes political blog published an excerpt from an interview he gave to BBC Radio Suffolk’s Mark Murphy this week about the Brexit vote in the House of Commons.
In the excerpt Mr Martin said: “We cannot expect every member of the public to go along and listen to every argument that has been put forward.”
Mr Murphy said: “So you know better do you – than the people in your constituency? It’s quite disrespectful to them, isn’t it?”
The excerpt ends there – but Mr Martin went on to say: “I have listened to a lot of the residents of my constituency talking to me on the doorstep or sending me e-mails.
“I have listened to what a lot of my residents are saying . . . It is certainly not the case that the vast majority of the residents of my Ipswich constituency all believe the same thing.”
Tom Hunt, who will be fighting the seat for the Tories at the next election, said: “As it happens I campaigned for and voted for Britain to leave the EU.
“However, the main reason why I find these comments so troubling is because they appear to indicate a real disregard for the democratic verdict expressed by the country and more importantly his own constituents.
“He talks about representative democracy but what happened with the referendum was that Parliament contracted out its sovereignty on the particular issue of our membership of the EU to the British people. Mr Martin doesn’t seem to understand this.
“In my view these comments show a certain arrogance and disregard for the views of his own voters.”
Mr Martin said: “I believe that Brexit campaigners like Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage deliberately misled the voters, and there is evidence to support my view.
“I think one way of trying to reunite our country might be to give people the chance to vote on the actual deal that is agreed if one is indeed agreed, but that is not in my gift. I will continue to do what I can to persuade people not to support us leaving without a deal because I believe it will be a disaster for our safety and our economy, but it is not in my gift – the Tories are in Government and if Brexit is a mess that is entirely their fault.
“I am certain that if Brexit is as damaging as I fear it will be, the voters will remember who it was that misled them.”