Newly elected MP for Redcar Jacob Young has come under question for “making a mockery” of his role in Parliament for requesting a debate on ‘The Excellence of Yorkshire Cycling’ during government time.
Jacob Young MP raised his question during the Business of the House session on the 6th February 2020 to the Leader of the House, Jacob Rees Mogg MP in a session designed to request time in government for debating issues in constituencies across the UK. He asked,
“On 30 April this year, one of the UK’s biggest cycling races, the Tour de Yorkshire, comes to Marske and Redcar for the first time. May we have a debate in Government time on the excellence of Yorkshire cycling?”
In reply the Leader of the House refused to allow time to be afforded for a debate on such a topic. He quipped,
“The excellence of Yorkshire cycling is clearly known across the world. I believe that there is a second-tier event that takes place on the continent, which has nothing like the magnificence of the Tour de Yorkshire. I congratulate my hon. Friend, but I am afraid to say that I am going to puncture his enthusiasm because I am not going to be able to offer him a debate in Government time.”
Cllr Carl Quartermain, Leader of the Labour Group in Redcar & Cleveland was highly critical of this being the priority question of the MP for Redcar and cited many “serious issues” in the borough that need addressing first.
He said, “I tried emailing Jacob Young on his parliamentary email account as soon as I saw this because I would like a reply. I want to ask him why when he was given an opportunity to represent our area he felt this was the burning issue? If it was PMQs I could accept the posturing and justification to promote the town and the Tour De Yorkshire event. But this was not PMQs, it was an opportunity to represent us here in Redcar and Cleveland and to bring debate to the very real issues we face everyday.
“To put his question into perspective during the same session requests and statements were asked by MPs from across the UK on subjects such as, rape, terrorism, the NHS, LGBT rights, the EU, the environment, suppressing of journalists, data security in prisons, police grants, local government financing and opposition to an expressway being built in Cambridgeshire.
“To this end it suggests a contempt for the vulnerability residents and businesses are feeling here when he knows himself, for example, the issues we have with poor council funding, crime and the lack of resources for support services to deal with addiction, drug abuse and mental health. It revealed just how disconnected he is from the real injustices taking place, in preference of pushing populist prose on the back of the Tour De Yorkshire.“
Cllr Quartermain has sent the following open letter to Jacob Young MP in respect of this.
“I am pleased your request to debate “The Excellence of Yorkshire Cycling” was turned down by the Leader of the House. Debating this subject in Parliament time would have wasted valuable parliamentary time for purposeful MPs to debate more pressing and important issues. Your request ignores any of the serious issues taking place daily in Redcar and Cleveland and makes a mockery of your role as an MP representing one of the most deprived areas in the UK.
“The next opportunity you have to represent your constituents please ask for debates regarding the dangerous levels of underfunding in Redcar & Cleveland that seriously affects our capability to deliver support for mental health, isolation, depression, suicide, bereavement, child care, adoption, fostering, homelessness, disabilities, elderly care, education, mobility, victims of crime, refuge, domestic abuse, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, cessation programmes, carers, child carers, debt, health promotion, communities, waste collection, recycling, roads, transport, energy, jobs, apprenticeships, training, environment, economic growth and neighbourhoods.
“The excellence of Yorkshire cycling can be debated locally through the appropriate and relevant bodies as well as a side issue to the wider debate over Health and Wellbeing, cycling lanes, access to rural areas, sport in general and future regional and national cycling events.“