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Gloucester MP hits back at timekeeping "disgrace"

By Ben_Falconer  |  Posted: January 30, 2013

Comments (6)

Conservative MP Richard Graham should buy a new watch to prevent him being late, according to an opposition party councillor.
But Mr Graham rejected criticism from a Labour city councillor who said missing opportunities to ask questions in the House of Commons was a "disgrace to the city".
Mark Hobbs pounced on the incidents, at Thursday's full city council meeting.
"Does he agree that the city MP should receive further reprimand for lateness, which was a disgrace to the city?" Mr Hobbs (Moreland) asked city council leader Paul James.
Mr James (Conservative, Longlevens) disagreed. "I think it's fairly well known that punctuality is not one of Richard's better attributes but he makes valuable contributions when he is there," he replied.
Mr Hobbs suggested Mr James buys Mr Graham a watch.
Mr Graham told The Citizen he missed asking a tabled question to the Business Secretary on December 20 because his 99-year-old landlady had fallen down the stairs.
He subsequently explained the reason to the Speaker. "On the 20th December my landlady, who will be 100 this August, fell down her stairs in front of me just as I was leaving. I made a simple decision to help her up, into her wheel chair, get a cup of tea and make sure no doctor was needed - at the cost of missing my question in the House of Commons," he said.
Before that explanation, Speaker John Bercow said Mr Graham "has got to get himself sorted" because it was the second time in a few days he had not arrived to ask a tabled question.
The week before, he arrived too late in the chamber to put a scheduled question to the Chancellor. Mr Graham missed his first backbench debate in 2010 because of a problem with his printer. Mr Graham also pointed out he's spoken 48 times - on time - in the last year.
"That's significantly more than the average MP, and far more than my predecessor - 29 in his last year," he said. He added that he chairs five All Party Parliamentary Groups, is secretary of a sixth, is Parlimentary Private Secretary to a Foreign Minister and is the PM's Trade Envoy to Indonesia, all of which he said are unpaid roles. 

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  • Beekeeper  |  January 31 2013, 11:27AM

    Has he fixed his printer yet?

  • Aletheia  |  January 31 2013, 12:53AM

    Perhaps Mr Graham ought to buy the Labour councillor a book on how to control your finances seeing as how people from that party were responsible for bankrupting the country. It makes punctuality seem a very trivial matter in comparison.

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  • FreeRadical1  |  January 30 2013, 5:50PM

    Sorry, but whose pants? Are you suggesting that Richard Graham was lying, gaga? I'd have thought that it would be pretty easy to check to see if his explanation was true or false. There are journalists who would absolutely pounce on a false claim.

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  • lordigaga  |  January 30 2013, 5:34PM

    pants on fire

    |   -6
  • Willow_Wisp  |  January 30 2013, 3:49PM

    Tombardier - I think Mr Graham is a bit of a buffoon, but I absolutely agree with you...why bring this up in a council meeting anyway? Mr Graham had already explained himself? Talk about wasting time...

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  • tombardier  |  January 30 2013, 3:23PM

    so late twice out of 50 times because of an emergency situation? I'm quite neutral on the party political front here, but it sounds like the labour councillor is just after any childish excuse he can find to slate this gentleman.

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