MPs Watch: ‘Wrong’ tax cuts and the death of the Queen
Last updated Sep 30, 2022

Every month the Stray Ferret tries to find out what our local MPs have been up to in their constituencies and in the House of Commons.

September was a monumental month for the country. Queen Elizabeth II died after over 70 years on the throne, a new Prime Minister was appointed and proposed tax cuts by the Conservatives sent the value of the pound into a tailspin.

We asked our three Conservative MPs, Harrogate & Knaresborough’s Andrew Jones, Skipton and Ripon’s Julian Smith, and Selby and Ainsty’s Nigel Adams if they would like to highlight anything in particular that they have been doing this month, but, as usual, we did not receive a response from any of them.

Here is what we know after analysing their online presence.

Andrew Jones, Harrogate and Knaresborough MP.

Andrew Jones, Harrogate and Knaresborough MP.

In Harrogate and Knaresborough, here is what we found out on Mr Jones:

  • Mr Jones praised Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget last week. He wrote on Community News: “There are a huge number of measures, many focused on our productivity and investment which are the platforms for future growth”.
  • On September 10 in the House of Commons, Mr Jones paid tribute to the Queen on behalf of the residents of Harrogate & Knaresborough.
  • Constituents can now find out what the MP has been up to through his new Instagram account that he launched this month.
  • Following reports in the Stray Ferret about water pollution in Oak Beck, Mr Jones called for action against those responsible. He wrote on Community News: “I am keen that those responsible face a substantial penalty for doing so”.
  • On September 28, Mr Jones posted a photo on his Instagram page of a Scout group in Knaresborough where he spoke to young people about life as an MP.
  • The MP welcomed the government’s announcement that household energy bills will be capped at £2,500 a year for two years. He called the plan “a welcome step” on Community News.

Read more:

Julian Smith, MP for Ripon and Skipton.

Julian Smith, MP for Skipton and Ripon.

In Skipton and Ripon, here is what we found on Mr Smith:

  • In sharp contrast to fellow Harrogate district Tory MP, Andrew Jones, Mr Smith has been critical of the government’s proposed tax cuts and called them “wrong”.
  • He has continued to offer his thoughts about the financial crisis on Twitter in recent days. On Wednesday he tweeted: “It is critical that the government is honest about the current situation & plays its part in stabilising markets. It can keep a growth plan but needs to make changes. Not doing so will only continue further stress & strain on UK citizens”.
  • On Thursday, he tweeted: “The government must scrap 45p, take responsibility for the link between last Friday & the impact on peoples mortgages & make clear that it will do everything possible to stabilise markets & protect public services.”
  • Following the Queen’s death, Mr Smith attended a service at Ripon Cathedral.
  • Mr Smith attended the Nidderdale Show in Pateley Bridge. It was brought forward a day to Sunday September 18 due to the Queen’s funeral.

Nigel Adams, MP for Selby and Ainsty

In rural south Harrogate, here is what we found on Mr Adams:

  • On September 6, the Boris Johnson loyalist resigned from cabinet ahead of new Conservative Party leader Liz Truss becoming Prime Minister. He was minister without portfolio.
  • The latest MPs register of interests show Mr Adams was paid £3,950 by the Jamaica Tourist Board as part of a Lords and Commons Cricket delegation to Kingston. The trip was to celebrate 60 years of Jamaican independence.
  • Mr Adams hailed King Charles III after he delivered his first address to the nation. He said: “It was as good as it gets, God save the King.”
  • The MP got into a Twitter spat with Lib Dem leader Tim Farron after he joked about Liz Truss’ history with his party. “You’d struggle to fill a phone box full of ministers let alone a cabinet, so pipe down,” Mr Adams retorted.