Thursday, 15 April 2010

Mark Prisk: The Hertfordshire Tory MP who spends his time campaigning in Cornwall

Mark Prisk is the Conservative MP for Hertford & Stortford (a currently safe seat). He is a "a born and bred Cornishman" (in his own words). Indeed, before becoming MP for a Hertfordshire seat he tried and failed to win a seat in Cornwall in 1997.

Fortunately for Mr Prisk, all the seats in Cornwall are held by the Liberal Democrats and consequently there are no Conservative MPs. So to boost their campaigning presence, David Cameron made Mr Prisk "Shadow Minister for Cornwall" in 2007 (somebody set up a local PriskWatch site then but it doesn't seem to have been updated since). This meant he could spend a lot of his time in his beloved Cornwall.

Unfortunately for Mr. Prisk, there was and is no Minister for Cornwall to shadow and this got him in to trouble when it turned out that he had been claiming expenses from the taxpayer for his jaunts to Cornwall for his "fictional minister" non-job. He was reprimanded by the speaker (but typically for our useless system there were no sanctions).

Recently, Cameron announced that under a Conservative government, that he would create a permanent Minister for Cornwall. Mark Prisk has refused to rule out becoming that Minister in response to a letter in the local paper from the LibDem candidate Andrew Lewin. So, it looks like the people of Hertford & Stortford can look forward to another 5 years of neglect!

To add insult to injury to the people of his Hertfordshire constituency, they can catch him on how he's doing occasionally via reports from Cornwall on the TV news. This was on Channel 4 yesterday:

For those of you you don't want to watch the full report, here is a screenshot of him enjoying campaigning in Cornwall:

Whether the local LibDem, Andrew Lewin (who was "born & bred" in the constituency) can make a significant dent in his majority remains to be seen. (Labour seem to have given up)

No comments: