Thursday, November 8, 2007

The honourable thing for Benyon to do is apologise for mistake

The Newbury Weekly News have kindly printed the following letter from me today. Background details on this long-running affair are here.

Newbury MP Richard Benyon has been quoted as saying that he was "angry" when he read the email which led to his erroneous statement about Newbury Town Council to Parliament on October 9.

Well, we've all been there, haven't we? I certainly have. One reads something of which one has incomplete comprehension, the red mist descends, the testosterone kicks in and one fires off a fusillade of metaphorical fireworks.

Then, in a moment of calm and with, perhaps, the benefit of the knowledge of others with more expertise of the subject concerned, one realises that one has made a mistake. One grasped the wrong end of the stick with both feet, so to speak.

Of course, the honourable thing to do is then to acknowledge one's mistake and apologise. Most of us have the humility to do this.

Mr Benyon is a highly honourable man. I trust, therefore, that he will quickly set the record straight, while he can still be forgiven for a mistake, openly admitted.

It is a privilege to be able to speak in Parliament, as he does, but with that privilege comes the responsibility to accurately reflect the truth.

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