Blackpool South MP Scott Benton hits back at hypocrisy allegations after marrying partner amid campaign to scrap Human Rights Act
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The Blackpool South Conservative MP celebrated tying the knot to Harry Symonds at the House of Commons just days after standing up in Parliament to call for the Act
to be binned.
He yesterday insisted he isn’t a hypocrite – and just wants to get rid of the parts of the Act that affect foreigners trying to move to Britain.
He said: “My view, not that I even need to explain it in this context, is that the Human Rights Act should be scrapped and replaced with a ‘British Bill of Rights’; coincidentally a view shared by millions of British people and was in the Tory Party manifesto on several occasions.
“This would not interfere in any way with the rights British people enjoy, as they would be protected.
“Reforming the HRA is specifically designed to assist reforms to the immigration and asylum system to ensure that these work properly.
“It would not affect marriage – or same-sex marriage – in any way whatsoever.”
Pictures of the wedding celebrations were posted publicly by Mr Symonds-Benton online, where they were 'liked' by more than 200 people who offered their congratulations.
Mr Benton faced some criticism on social media, however.
One person said: “The Human Rights Act Article 12 enshrines Scott’s right to get married. Scott Benton wants to scrap the Human Rights Act, but not until after he’s taken advantage of it himself.”
The Act, introduced in 1998, “protects” the right of gay people “to love”, according to the charity Stonewall, which said: “Human rights legislation protects our right to family life and it means the state can’t discriminate.”
It added: “The Act protects all of us. Some of us are fortunate enough to have never had to worry about our rights being abused. But for LGBT people, many things people take for granted - like starting a family - have been difficult, or illegal, to do in the past.”
Mr Benton, who attacked the “stale, politically correct and ideologically biased output of much of the mainstream media” in Parliament last week, said during a debate on November 25, five days before his wedding, that the UK will not be able to take back full control of its immigration and asylum policy unless the Human Rights Act is cancelled.
He addressed the “tragic loss of life” in the Channel, which saw at least 27 people die when a dinghy capsized off the coast of Calais on Wednesday.
He said the deadliest day of the crisis on record underlines “why we need to do everything possible to make these dangerous routes unviable”, including scrapping the Human Rights Act.
He added: “There is nothing compassionate or moral about allowing criminal gangs to exploit vulnerable people. The leader of the House has already mentioned the Borders Bill but I fear that we won’t be able to gain back full control of our immigration and asylum policy unless we scrap the Human Rights Act.”
Three days before the tragedy occurred, he blasted 'bogus asylum seekers routinely coming to the UK' in a Parliamentary debate. He said: "The Human Rights Act... is directly interfering in our ability to get a grip of our asylum and immigration policies."
He called on Home Secretary Priti Patel to support the scrapping of the Act.
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