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Fitzpatrick: His Wedding-gate’ fiasco

PUBLISHED: 14:47 25 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:45 05 October 2010

Dear Ed, I WAITED a week until the confetti, as it were, had been blown away before commenting on the MP Jim Fitzpatrick’s wedding-gate’ fiasco at the London Muslim Centre

Dear Ed,

I WAITED a week until the confetti, as it were, had been blown away before commenting on the MP Jim Fitzpatrick's 'wedding-gate' fiasco at the London Muslim Centre. The furore that has arisen from the social slight 'suffered' by Jim's wife was in itself slight compared to the plight that Muslin women can suffer when they get married.

So why did Jim Fitzpatrick take umbrage at the wedding? Some believe it was court political favour with moderate Muslims and against the Islamic Forum of Europe, and to counter the flak that Tower Hamlets council received following the sacking of the chief executive.

Or it might have been to show support for Harriet Harman's Equality Bill.

If that is the case, he could follow the example of one of his predecessors, George Lansbury, who in 1910 was elected to represent Bow & Bromley. Lansbury resigned in 1912 to fight a by-election in support of votes for women. He wrote in his autobiography, "It was a question on which I felt it was impossible to compromise." In doing so, he placed himself on the right side of decency progress and equality for women.

It is unlikely that Jim Fitzpatrick will resign his seat-not only because of the proximity of a General Election, but also because he might suffer the same fate as George Lansbury, who lost.

Terry McGrenera (Green Party)

Devans Road, Bromley-by-Bow


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