A letter published in the Fleet News on Wednesday 25th May.
The MP for N.E. Hants, Ranil Jayawardena, has publicly declared for Brexit. However, he has said that the decision is for each of his 70,000 constituents to make and that he does not wish to influence them.
He cannot escape his status so easily. His declaration appeared on his website, which he normally uses politically and on which he identifies himself as our constituency MP. Whether intentionally or not, he has used his status to purvey his opinion and, in fact, will have influenced people from that position.
He compounds this. Surprisingly, he has explained that his decision was formed through listening to Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and others - an appeal to authority rather than to argument.
Mr Jayawardena is our elected representative. He has declared against the policy of his own party; he has done so in a way which has political implications for his constituents; he has apparently not explained, in mature terms, his egregious position to those who elected him; and, incidentally, when challenged to a debate within the constituency, suggested (in refusing) that one of Messers Johnson, Gove, et al, would be the person to invite.
I therefore challange him, again and this time publicly, to present his arguments to his constituents; to be tested openly by debate and questioning.