Oh dear. While Reading West’s MP Alok Sharma did the right thing and voted for the Second Reading of the equal marriage Bill, his hapless Reading East counterpart was all over the place, voting in both lobbies, for and against.
This is not merely a case of an MP being hopelessly out of step with the times.
I have seen a screenshot of the MP’s social media feed with a message proclaiming he was in favour: this was hastily withdrawn. Leading backroom Tory organiser and former Reading East agent Paul Swaddle is, to his credit, in favour. So why did this message go up and down so quickly.
And why go to all the effort of holding a ‘consultation’ event with Reading’s LGBT community, if you are not going to listen? I have heard separate accounts of this meeting, neither from Liberal Democrat members I hasten to add, both of which were underwhelmed by what appeared to them to be a premeditated equivocation and a publicity stunt which backfired.
The record will state that in his time as Reading East’s MP, Rob Wilson did not vote for equality, but for and against it. And while the mystery of his social media operation remains, his efforts to gloss over his ‘deliberate abstention’ will be rightly forgotten.