Last week, Scrapbook exposed Simon Hughes for claiming inconvenient votes on secure tenancies did not occur. We can now bring you yet another example of the Liberal Democrats’ deputy leader saying one thing but doing another.
In a debate on the Localism Bill, Hughes said communities should be empowered to restrain the expansion of betting shops on high streets:
“It is really important that the community will be able to say, ‘We don’t want that parade to end up all off licences or betting shops. We want there to be a greengrocer, a fishmonger or a baker.'”
Hughes then made his support clear by, erm, voting against himself.
Bookmakers can currently dodge planning permission by taking over banks, estate agents, takeaways or restaurants without any council oversight for the change in usage. An amendment to place them in a “Use Class” of their own, just like casinos and gaming arcades, was voted down with support from “honest Simon”.
Hughes has been a member of parliament for 28 years. Does he not realise that the votes are recorded?