Bishop of Bradford angry at Shipley MP's bid to block lead theft bill (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bishop of Bradford angry at Shipley MP's bid to block lead theft bill
The Bishop of Bradford has called on Philip Davies’s Shipley constituents to “question his response” after the MP spoke out against a proposed Parliamentary bill to outlaw selling scrap metal for cash.
The Bishop, the Right Reverend Nick Baines, believes a new bill outlawing cash for scrap will make it harder for thieves get cash for their spoils and has urged MPs across the district to back the bill, which will have its third reading next week.
He wrote to Mr Davies, who opposes the Metal Theft and Scrap Dealers Metal Bill because it does not go far enough. Mr Davies wants tougher sentences for illegal scrap dealers.
However, Mr Davies told the Telegraph & Argus the new private members bill, put forward by his Conservative colleague, Croydon MP Richard Ottaway, “would not make a blind bit of difference” unless it came with stricter sentences.
Mr Baines hit back at Mr Davies in his latest blog. The Bishop wrote: “Shipley MP Philip Davies intends to try to talk the bill out. He opposes it because it doesn't go far enough and doesn’t increase sentences for those found guilty.
“Apparently, he disagrees – which is his right. It is also the right of his constituents to question his response. Vote against the bill – no problem; but, why try to talk it out? The bill does not do everything needed to outlaw this pernicious trade, but it certainly helps.”
Mr Davies also criticised Bradford West MP, George Galloway’s claims that ushering in the bill would be “like trying to ban Harold Steptoe”, in reference to the 1960s and 1970s TV rag and bone man in the sit-com Steptoe & Son. Mr Baines wrote: “George Galloway made me laugh (genuinely) when he said it was like trying to ban Steptoe and Son. Good image. But, Harold Steptoe didn’t strip war memorials, railway lines, communications lines, churches, houses and other buildings to get his scrap metal. Bradford constituents – especially those who have suffered from this business – might like to reflect on it.”