Luton Liberal Democrats are asking where local MP Margaret Moran was on Friday (20th March) when MPs voted on a new parliamentary bill aimed at ending fuel poverty.
The Fuel Poverty Bill would deliver a massive home insulation programme which would halve the energy needed to heat the average home. And it would end the scandal of those who use pre-pay meters – generally the least well-off – paying higher rates for their gas and electricity.
The Bill was just 11 votes short of the number it needed to make progress.
One in ten Conservative MPs and one in fourteen Labour MPs were in Parliament to support the Bill. Three quarters of Liberal Democrats were present but it was not enough to stop the Government blocking the Bill.
The Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidates for Luton have said how sad they are that this much needed measure now looks less likely to succeed.
Qurban Hussain, Lib Dem Luton South prospective candidate had written to Ms Moran asking her to support the bill and has received no reply. “The Fuel Poverty Bill was ‘talked out’ by the Government on Friday because not enough MPs turned up to vote,” he said.
“It needed 100 MPs but it only got 89. With millions of people across Britain struggling to afford to heat their homes this is a crying shame.”
“With such a narrow margin of failure it is really disappointing that our local MP Margaret Moran was not in Parliament to support this important Bill. Our best hope now is to put as much pressure as possible on the Government to change their minds. Without government support I am afraid it looks doomed.”
Luton North Liberal Democrat prospective candidate, Rabi Martins, commented on the actions of Luton North MP Kelvin Hopkins. “Of course we have our political differences,” he said. “But this is not a party political issue, it is about saving lives. The bill was an important initiative by Liberal Democrat MP David Heath and I welcome the fact that Kelvin Hopkins felt able to support it. It’s a pity he was not able to persuade more of his colleagues, not even Margaret Moran, to join him. If this bill falls it will be because the Labour Government and the Conservative Opposition have put party politics above the welfare of ordinary people.”