In last week’s Free Press, Steve Bolter wrote in support of Tim Yeo. He made several points in his favour. I must, however, correct a number or errors.
1. I was not making, as Mr Bolter is, a political point when I referred to other MPs. I certainly did mention Sir Bob Russell (Lib/Dem) but also bracketed him with Dr Poulter and Brooks Newmark, both Conservatives.
2. He says Mr Yeo was, until recently, chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee. The fact is that he still is the chairman.
3. I will continue to criticise Mr Yeo’s chairmanships, directorships, shareholdings and millions of share options in renewable energy and environmental companies. For 30 years, he has held positions in Parliament whereby he would be able to influence these issues which, in turn, could help the profitability of these companies. This, of course, would have a bearing on the share price. I have spoken to many people, all of whom agreed that this could be construed as a “conflict of interest”.
4. Many of us, however, are more interested in the fact that Mr Yeo spends a great deal of his time on his above private businesses. Mr Bolter says that this is less time than “many people spend on their hobbies”. This may be correct but I hope that they carry out these hobbies in their own spare time and not when they should be at work receiving about £81,000 plus expenses of our hard-earned money.
5. Neil Bracegirdle, in his article, gives details of some of Mr Yeo’s outside interests. I suggest that Mr Bolter and all readers take two minutes to look online at the register of members’ interests.
He, and they, will be able to see what has taken place over a number of years. He has been away from constituency business for many months.
6. Mr Bolter summarizes by saying that “Mr Yeo wants to continue to serve the national interest”. Some readers may be forgiven for thinking that it is for self-serving reasons.