OK George—I'll be happy to fight you at next election
PUBLISHED: 17:17 18 June 2009 | UPDATED: 14:27 05 October 2010
Open Letter from MP Jim Fitzpatrick responding to Respect's George Galloway's open challenge: THANK you for the invitation. I will be happy to fight you and/or anyone else to represent the new seat of Poplar & Limehouse in Parliament
Open Letter from MP Jim Fitzpatrick responding to Respect's George Galloway’s open challenge:
THANK you for the invitation (Go on Jim—I dare you to join me in calling for election,’ Advertiser Website Letters, June 1). I will be happy to fight you and/or anyone else to represent the new seat of Poplar & Limehouse in Parliament. Most of the voters will have been in the previous constituency of Poplar & Canning Town, where I have represented them over the years.
I will be happy to put my voting record against yours any day. At least I am there on the majority of occasions.
I must presume from your challenge that you expect to be around for a few months. It must be reassuring for your constituents to know you are not going to be away on a lecture tour, or locked up in the Big Brother House (mind you, that was funny).
I have always been completely happy for my Parliamentary expenses to be published. Over the past four years, out of 646 MPs I was 590th, 606th, 600th and 580th in terms of expenses claimed. Last year, my expenses were even £15,000 lower than yours!
Under Labour, we have seen the NHS being rebuilt around us. The new Royal London Hospital is the big blue building in Whitechapel Road. Most, if not all, of the health centres in Poplar have been rebuilt or refurbished, or are in the process of being done.
There are 21 Children’s Sure Start centres across Tower Hamlets. We have been doing all we can to fight unemployment through the New Deal’ and JobCentre Plus. We have invested nearly £2 billion in postal services (Royal Mail).
Our policies to deal with the recession are being copied around the world. We are building our way out of recession with new rail projects (Crossrail), new homes, improving the DLR and London Underground.
Tower Hamlets has the fastest improving education results in the country, and there’s more money for schools, including buildings.
Since you became independent,’ George, all you have done is throw stones. Criticism is easy from the outside. When you were in Labour, your voting record was very loyal.
We need to continue to deal with the recession and begin to rebuild confidence in the integrity of our politics.
Your role in the General Election won’t be to win. But at least, afterwards, you’ll be able to live off your outside earnings, for which you’ll have lots more time.
Jim Fitzpatrick, MP
Poplar & Canning Town