Dearne MP boycotts Thatcher debate

John Healey MP
John Healey MP

A Dearne MP boycotted a special Parliamentary session organised in the wake of the death of Margaret Thatcher.

Labour’s John Healey, who represents Wentworth and Dearne, accused Conservative Leader David Cameron of using the former Prime Minister’s death for ‘political gain’.

Mr Healey, a treasury and housing minister in the Blair and Brown Governments, said Mr Cameron had used Parliament as a platform for Tory Party ideology.

Mr Cameron recalled MPs early from their Easter break to ‘consider the matter of tributes’ to Lady Thatcher.

Mr Healey said Mr Cameron’s references to Lady Thatcher’s economic reforms in his tribute to her on Monday were ‘partisan’ and ‘divisive’.

Speaking before the Parliamentary session began, he said: “Parliament is being used for narrow political gain by the Prime Minister, as a platform for his party’s ideology not just eulogy.

“He’s wrong to recall Parliament, and wrong to hijack it in this way. I will play no part and I will stay away.”

Baroness Thatcher is widely blamed for destroying South Yorkshire communities when she closed pits and steelworks.