IT should have come as no surprise to his Conservative party colleagues to witness Christopher Chope objecting to a vote on the ratification of a report that found the now infamous Owen Paterson had breached parliamentary lobbying rules.

The government had tried to avoid drawing attention to the vote by shunting it to a 10pm slot in the vain hope of avoiding further scrutiny of the sleaze scandals so prevalent in their ranks. Chope’s objection now means that the government has to reschedule the motion on Paterson, probably with a debate too, which will keep the issue of Tory corruption in the spotlight for the immediate future.

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The hoary MP for Christchurch sees his parliamentary role as acting as a sentinel to ensure that bills are subject to detailed scrutiny, regardless of their content or moral rectitude. In short, Sir Christopher is a pedant who rejoices in the procedures of parliament for their own sake and carries out his self-appointed role impervious to criticism or to common sense.

Abuse of parliamentary procedure for self-aggrandisement or notoriety is not, of course, as Tom Jones would have said, unusual. In this instance, however, Sir Christopher’s actions have undoubtedly further embarrassed his own government and given more ammunition to the parliamentary opposition.Though his efforts here may be useful for increased scrutiny of a transparently amoral and crooked government, it should be noted that this MP rarely utilises any moral compass in what he perceives as his traditional parliamentary role.

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He has blocked bills on vital women’s rights issues such as upskirting and female genital mutilation and seems determined to block any private member’s bill that sponsors inclusiveness or equal rights in Britain. In the last few years he has obstructed or voted against government bills on same-sex marriage, equal pay for women and, notably, objected to a pardon for World War Two code-breaker, Alan Turing, who was convicted of “indecency” due to his homosexuality.

Sir Christopher is a walking and talking example of how fundamentally archaic and broken Westminster practices and procedures are. He cannot be simply dismissed as an aged, limelight- seeking buffoon who is obstreperous but ultimately harmless. In the UK Parliament his fundamentalist views are more prevalent than many would believe, particularly but not exclusively on the Conservative backbenches.

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Sir Christopher shares offensive ideological opinions with a disconcerting number of Tory MPs, such as the reintroduction of the death penalty and conscription, along with banning the burka in public places and climate change denial.

Make no mistake, this MP – who steered through the poll tax in England under Mrs Thatcher and was vice-chairman of the party under William Hague – represents an unfettered and uncaring wing of the Conservative Party that Brexit has resurrected and reinvigorated and that his Prime Minister embodies.

Christopher Chope enjoys a safe seat in the UK Parliament despite his appallingly immoral views and aggravating tendency to purism. The fact that his constituents continue to vote for such a man is further proof of the social and political chasm between Scotland and England and just why we can state with some certitude that independence for Scotland is just a matter of time.

Owen Kelly

WHEN it was alleged that Nicola Sturgeon had misled the Scottish Parliament over Alex Salmond, Tory muttonhead Douglas Ross was all over the airwaves calling for her resignation. A red card, he said, with all the perfidious sanctimonious moralising at which Tories excel.

Now Mr Ross’s chickens have come home to roost. Like all puritanical, virtue-signalling Unionists, Ross is a massive hypocrite. He has failed to declare £28,000 in earnings in his Westminster register of interests.

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If an ordinary person on Universal Credit failed to declare £28,000 in earnings they would be prosecuted and jailed. This under the system Douglas Ross’s Tories brought in.

While Douglas Ross was failing to properly declare his earnings he was busy defending the Tories’ £20 per week cut to Universal Credit. Effectively this ensured the poorest children would go hungry. This shows the immoral depravity of Douglas Ross and the Tories.

There will be no humility or contrition from Ross. He is the latest in a long line of corrupt, greedy Tories whose sole interest is lining their own pockets.

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Douglas Ross and his band of Lilliputian-brained cut-throats in Holyrood are an embarrassing collection of jesters and non-entities. They justify their salaries with ludicrous and absurd banalities opposing independence and nothing else. It only works because the message they send out appeals to extremist Orange Order Unionists who are more stupid than they are.

The Tories get away with it because they have neutered the investigating authorities. The corrupt Met have said there is not enough evidence to warrant an investigation into Tory larceny. This is the same force who refused to investigate Prince Andrew and allowed Wayne Couzens to remain on duty despite a complaint of flashing.

Alan Hinnrichs

IT came as no surprise to learn that five of the six Conservative MPs in Scotland voted on Monday to break their manifesto commitment to retain the triple lock on state pensions. Quite shameful. This action by Scottish Conservatives will deny pensioners around £500 per annum, an amount that could pay dividends to our pensioners’ wellbeing during winter by allow the heating to be switched on, by eating the right kind of nourishing food in cold winter days. Yet those MPs here in Scotland prioritised following the party line, before the needs of pensioners in their constituencies.

Catriona C Clark