Friday, August 20, 2010

The Worst MP of the 2010 Intake?

I can almost forgive new Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi for her minor misdemeanour of using her mobile phone while at the wheel. But it has now emerged that she didn't have any car insurance.

Yesterday a court disqualified her from driving for six months. Which is exactly what the electors of Bolton South East should do when they have the chance.

She should be relieved that Recall Elections have yet to be introduced. She would be a prime first candidate.

UPDATE: Yasmin Quereshi has emailed me tonight and had the following comment...

Dear Mr. Dale

I read your comment regarding me. But as always press have not reported what has actually happened which court was told about.

Facts are that...

I have had comprehensive policy cover for over 20 years. Since 2003 I have been insured by auto direct (my brokers).

I have a roll on policy which only gets cancelled if ask for it be done.

I have also a standing order arrangement with them which I did not cancel.

I was stunned when told I was not insured. I rang the insurance company
who said the following

a. That I did have roll on yearly policy
b. That I had been told that I only need contact if I am rejecting policy
c. That they had cancelled the direct debit which led to policy cancelling not me
d. It was their fault but of course if they say I am not covered then I have no choice.
e. I am talking the matter up with the insurance company.

This is again a case of misinformation put about by journalists who don’t check their facts.

You are correct it is the individual's responsibility to ensure that they were insured and I have been driving for over 20 years on fully comprehensive policy. For last 7 years I have been with auto direct and the system that I understood operated and I followed it.

The interesting thing is that when I rang the insurance company and told them they accepted they had made mistake but they would not budge.

Since this incident I have had about 10 people contact me re this and said they had also had similar problems and got points and fine.

I think that there should be campaign to alert all drivers who have roll on yearly policy to stop them and have different system in place.

I was very upset and hurt that you think I am worst of 2010 intake.

Do you know that I have not even been on leave or holiday. I am still working full time in constituency, doing visits, holding drop in surgeries and campaigning.

And I have the biggest casework for a new MP. My constituency office was up and running on Monday after the election. And I had my first drop in surgery within a week of being elected.

Yes please either put my email re what happened on your blog or perhaps you can change the wordings now that you know the real position.


Yasmin Qureshi
Well, I can see why she's upset. Perhaps I shouldn't have believed everything I read in the newspaper.

60 comments:

ananse said...

The 2010 intake, surely?

Maximus Clark said...

a word comes to mind it rhymes with pippocrit... oh and she was elected in 2010

Havocman said...

Anyone who has lost a relative to a driver using a mobile 'phone would find it impossible to forgive such a driver, let alone someone in a position of responsibility.

JohnHitchin said...

Ignoring the fact that you've spelt her name wrong and that she joined the house in 2010, I'm not 100% convinced that the evidence marshalled is exactly a good indicator of the quality of an MP. It's an indicator of other things, but not quality of her work in the house.

thenovocastrian said...

An interesting perspective for sure, but she can't win that particular award as she wasn't in the 2005 intake. Keep up the, er, good work.

James D said...

The problem is that the voters of Bolton South East would vote for anyone so long as he had a red rosette. Perhaps it wouldn't be so awful if we did get AV — at least then there'd be some chance of the anyone but Yasmina Quereshi vote coalescing around one candidate.

John Wedgwood Pound said...

Iain, don't you mean 2010 intake?

alfstone said...

Aren't you confusing her with Chi Onwurah MP for Newcastle Central?

http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/north-east-news/evening-chronicle-news/2010/05/14/new-tyneside-mp-will-not-stand-on-ceremony-72703-26445740/

David said...

Do you mean Yasmin Qureshi? And do you mean 2010, not 2005?

I actually rather admire her for honouring a prior-committement with her constituents, rather than take part in the election of the speaker pantomime.

(The talking on the phone while driving an uninsured car is outrageous, of course.)

HEDJOHNSTON said...

2010 not 2005 Iain.

Hilary said...

Schoolboy error Iain, she was first elected in 2010.

Unsworth said...

Esther is Cyril Fletcher in drag.

Anyway, there's plenty of time for the Worst of Intake to manifest him/herself. So far she's in the running - only.

farnboro said...

a) 2010; b) check your source re the 'bingo caller' anecdote: some attribute it to Chi Onwurah at a new Members' briefing in the Chamber.

Truckosaurus said...

Makes 'Drinky Drinky' motion in the direction of The Dale.

Victor, NW Kent said...

There are other candidates. A certain Mark Reckless who got a little drinkie too much whilst the House was in session. Appositely a week or so later he appeared with Dan Hannan in a Kentish pub on a campaign to Save our Pubs.

However, quite a few Labour MPs have been caught doing the same thing - the phone I mean - so perhaps it is something they are taught - to have contempt for the laws of the land. None were quite as bad as Lord Ahmed [he of the 10,000 demonstrators] who killed someone. There was Harriet Harman, also a barrister like this lady and Liam Byrne, the coffee connoisseur. Then there was Ed Balls quite recently. Then Vera Baird and Neil Kinnock with bans for speeding, an offence also committed by Harman.

One might conclude that they were just as careless in every intake.

John said...

So apart from it not being very interesting or accurate, this isn't a bad blog post Iain.

brian in the tamar valley said...

This was in fact the second time she has been caught using a mobile whilst driving. And she has also had convictions for a couple of speeding offences.

She didn't attend court apparently but her solicitor referred to the "inconvenience" she would suffer as a result of her 6 month ban at having to use taxis and public transport. Such a comment on behalf of an MP makes this woman a prize idiot in my book.

PJH said...

But, but, but... Uncle Iain, isn't the MP who was caught talking on her mobile phone while driving without insurance caught while having 9 points on her license, at least 3 of which were for ... talking on a mobile phone while driving, on a previous occasion?

Gallimaufry said...

Driving while using a mobile phone appears to be a Labour thing.

londonmuslim said...

lets get the date right before spewing nonsense which is obviously nothing to do with the fact that she is Muslim

toryardvaark said...

She was only following the example set by her party leader.

Labour MP's and cars are not a good mix, come to think of it Labour and anything is not a good mix

Paul Donnelley said...

Her written English is quite poor. I would expect better from an MP; I say, I would expect more - I don't.

I have received a few communications from my MP and they lack sense and oftentimes words. It wouldn't be too bad but he is supposed to have a PhD in English... He sits for Labour, too.

Ambitious Mamas said...

She sounds genuinely contrite and isn't advancing flimsy arguments. Give her a break.

Ambitious Mamas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt said...

Apparently, Iain, your post can be ignored because:

You committed some typos and she is Labour and Muslim.

estwdjhn said...

The insurance issue seems fairly understandable, and I'd not get too bothered about it myself. IMHO prosecutions shouldn't be brought when the lack of insurance is clearly the result of an error such as this (for instance I once had an issue with a miss-spelled number plate, fortunately I wasn't stopped, but I drove round for several weeks with a insurance policy for a car with a slightly different number to the one I was driving - I'd have been pretty miffed if I'd ended up in court because of an insurance agents typo).

On the other hand, getting booked for using a phone while driving is pretty poor form. If you must talk and drive, bluetooth headsets come in at about £50, which is a lot less than the taxi bill that results from a 6 month driving ban.
(Incidentally, I don't actually think there should be a ban on hand held phones, as all the evidence suggests its the talking that causes accidents, not the physical holding of the phone. I think the legislation was intended primarily because of lobbying from the manufacturers of hands free phones, rather than any actual safety need.)

Newmania said...

If you ever popped your head around the corner of a magistrates court you would find it stuffed with goons busily telling the duty sollicitor similiar stories

Sancho said...

Her lousy ungrammatical English is reason enough to make her the worst MP...and that isn't me being racist...I just think our elected MPs should set an example be able to write proper English.

Ronald said...

There are two groups of people that never seem to take responsability for anything and always have an excus ready.

She belongs to both of them

John said...

Epic fail Dale. You should apologise immediately. I don't think you will, but you should.

Unsworth said...

Trouble is, we really do not 'know' what the position is - we 'know' only what the delightful Yasmin asserts to be the case. But anyway, given the tone and content of her letter, I still think she's a candidate.

You see, the court has made a decision based on her evidence and that of others. If she wanted to appeal she could do so and she does not deny using her phone whilst at the wheel.

Finally, "I have the biggest casework for a new MP". How on earth does she know?

Nope, the jury is still out.

Unsworth said...

Interesting that the 'Muslim' issue has been raised again in these comments - why is that do we suppose? No mention of her religion in Iain's piece, in her response, or in the majority of comments. Just look at those who have highlighted this aspect - and learn.

George said...

Tsk tsk, grammar and syntax all shot to pieces.

She does though raise an interesting point.

I did read somewhere, probably in the lying press, that she had cancelled the D/D. The reason being that over the alleged 20 years she had varied from one annual premium, to monthly premiums.

There is, I believe, just a little more to run in this tale.

Joe Public said...

A good defence to 50% of the misdemeanors.

But, she's still a 100% foolhardy criminal.

ulric said...

Despite rolling over for at least 5years with direct Line they did the same to me and did not renew my car insurance this year and left me without insurance for 6 months. As the amount was only 20pds per months i never noticed that the DD wasnt being taken. I was fortunate enough to find out before any problem occured but must say that its a real problem with automated systems.

Gallimaufry said...

Is driving without insurance one of those "strict liability", ie no defence, offences that NuLab were so keen on to massage the conviction rates?

Patrick said...

Wasnt it Labour who ended the 14 day grace period which we all use to have when the policy expired??

Most of these type of laws catch the unaware , forgetful and hapless, and not the real crooks who operate outside the law.

jailhouselawyer said...

Yasmin Quereshi appears to have forgotten about Lord Ahmed and driving and using a mobile phone...

Steven said...

Yes Yasmin, but we all have roll-on policies & the Insurance companies send out renewal docs for you to sign and return..... YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.

PS. What offences were your other previous 9 points for??

@Duke_Of_Monton

Steven said...

Yes Yasmin, but we all have roll-on policies & the Insurance companies send out renewal docs for you to sign and return..... YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.

PS. What offences were your other previous 9 points for??

@Duke_Of_Monton

Steven said...

She has 9 points from previous driving offences.... who shall we believe, the newspaper report based on the evidence of NO INSURANCE, an absolute offence OR, the words/rant(albeit slightly illiterate) of a LAWYER/LIAR versed in concocting ridiculous, stupendous, pinnochio style,totally unbelievable defences?

@duke_of_monton

Twig said...

Labour MPs seem to think the law doesn't apply to them for some reason.
Harriet Harman escaped a driving ban after using mobile while driving
...

Ellie said...

Two little words missing from the update to this post...

"I'm s... sssss.... sss...."

Come on Iain, you can do it.

Scary Biscuits said...

I'm happy to accept her explanation for the insurance.

I'm less happy that she thinks spending her time campaigning whilst being paid by the public is a good use of her time. She is elected to serve the people of her constituency in Westminster, not the other way around.

longrun2 said...

My insurers always send me a Certificate of Insurance after renewing my policy: I believe that this is a legal requirement; also, before renewal, send me a notice saying they are going to renew unless I say otherwise so that I have the option of seeking a cheaper quote: I am surprised that anyone should sign up to an insurer who was going to roll over the policy without telling them what the new premium would be.
It is understandable if she failed to notice the non-arrival of her new Certificate of Insurance during the excitement of the election campaign.
It is also understandable that she doesn't know the difference between a Standing Order and a Direct Debit.
What I don't understand is why anyone thinks that it is safe to drive and talk on a mobile 'phone at the same time.

thedailysoapbox said...

"Her lousy ungrammatical English is reason enough to make her the worst MP...and that isn't me being racist...I just think our elected MPs should set an example be able to write proper English."

I suspect it's more a case of having typed an email in a hurry. Which no-one ever does, do they?

Chas said...

If she had such mitigating circumstances, why did she not appear in court to defend herself? Instead she issued an opology through her solicitor. Most people have car and household insurance that simply rolls over from year to year without the policy holder having to do anything. I suspect her direct debit was rejected due to lack of funds in her account, so her policy was cancelled. The company would obviously have written to her to tell her that the policy was cancelled or non-renewed, so I do not believe her story. If what she said were true, thee company would have apologised and reinstated the policy. Since they did not, her story is very suspect. In any event, she was driving while talking on her phone, which is an offence. According to Wikipedia, this was her second conviction, and she has also received two speeding convictions. Added to that, the woman is illiterate, and astonishingly so for a barrister. However, I doubt she is the worst of the new intake - Labout has some real sock-puppets on its benches.

HampsteadOwl said...

Some people on this thread seem to believe that it is only Labour Party politicians and supporters who commit motoring offences. Let us postulate for a moment that this may not be entirely true and therefore ask whether, if the "delightful Yasmin" had been a Conservative MP - let alone one of his mates - Mr Dale would have branded her the worst of the intake off the back of a couple of misdemeanours that, although serious in themselves, hardly show her up as her evil or depraved. I think probably not.

And that's even before we take account of her plea of mitigation.

Truth is, neither I, nor I suspect Mr Dale, has the first idea whether she is a good or bad constituency MP. She says that she is hard-working and let's pay her the courtesy of believing it to be the truth. I say this as someone who wouldn't vote for Ms Quereshi if she were the last politician left on the planet. Her exploits behind the wheel have no bearing whatsoever on her performance as an MP. If they did I doubt very much whether the oafish Simon Burns should be a health minister having once knocked a cyclist down in his car and broken his neck.

It was a lazy post with a nasty title. Though not nearly as nasty as all this nudge nudge stuff about Quereshi's grammar (which incidentally is a hell of a lot better than the blogosphere average) being something to do with the colour of her skin.

Mahesh said...

Iain - while I don't agree with you most of the times, I still read your blog daily because I do not expect "rumors" and "unconfirmed reports" from you. Your content is OK. But, I didn't expect you to lower yourself to comment on something you read on a newspaper without verifying the facts, just because she happened to be Labour.

Unsworth said...

@ Hampstead Owl

Do you know what a plea in mitigation actually is? It's an acceptance of guilt but a statement of extenuating circumstances that may induce a Magistrate or Judge to reduce sentence. Thus, the Delightful Yasmin has plainly admitted both counts (driving without insurance and using her phone whilst driving).

And exactly what 'colour' is Ms Qureshi, then? Pinkish, Blueish, Greenish - what precisely?

Who is it here who keeps trying to imply that the slightest criticism of her behaviour is somehow racist? There's been far too much of this kind of bollox from the lefties who seem to wish to stifle discussion and debate by playing the old race card - and at long last people are beginning to understand this is a standard tactic.

Personally I don't give a stuff about her colour, but I do object to her stupidity in asserting that it's all some else's fault that she was driving without insurance - particularly as it appears from other comments here that she has some history of motoring misdemeanours. Next we'll be hearing attacks on the Magistrates as being racially biased, no doubt.

As to whether she is 'hardworking' - well that remains to be seen but, unfortunately for her, it's no excuse for breaking the law.

dgordon said...

So bottom line she didn't have insurance. Carelessness is no excuse, and one would think such carelessness and contempt for the law would render her entirely unsuitable as a member of parliament - sorry, an "Honourable" member of parliament. She is indeed lucky she didn't have an accident.

bobthedog said...

It still doesnt alter the fact that she was driving without insurance..... Of which she has been found guilty. Most of us drivers who renew insurance ensure that the policy is current before going on the road, we do that with a covernote and making payment in full in advance.

As to driving while using a mobile phone, there are many devices available which allow the use of a mobile phone in a handsfree (legal) manner. As it was her government that imposed the rulings for using mobile phones while driving, including recently doubling the fine and giving points for this offence, well she should really know better.

Gipper said...

Eh, Iain - you've changed this blog significantly from when you first posted it. Perhaps worth mentioning that somewhere?

Iain Dale said...

Hence the word UPDATE.

PJH said...

Per the update:

I have also a standing order arrangement with them which I did not cancel.
[...]
c. That they had cancelled the direct debit which led to policy cancelling not me


So which was it? A standing order(which the receiving company cannot cancel) or a direct debit (which they can.) They are most emphatically not the same thing, and generating more confusion in this manner is not helping her cause.

The Grim Reaper said...

Is that the world's smallest violin I can hear in the background?

Gipper said...

Update?

It's not an update. You totally changed the title and contents of the blog posting to cover up a major mistake.

You got it bang wrong. I imagine if someone else was this wrong and failed to at least score out their mistakes you'd highlight it.

I thought that was blogger etiquette, no?

Gipper said...

Update?

It's not an update. You totally changed the title and contents of the blog posting to cover up a major mistake.

You got it bang wrong. I imagine if someone else was this wrong and failed to at least score out their mistakes you'd highlight it.

I thought that was blogger etiquette, no?

Iain Dale said...

Tell you what, you take care of your own blog and I'll take care of mine.

I did not change the title of the blogpost. I did remove a paragraph when I realised that it was wrong. All it did was repeat what was in various newspapers. I then printed Yasmin's email. She is happy with what I did, so I don't see why you shouldn't be.

Tiberius said...

Come off it - a six month ban for no insurance? Standard penalty is only six points. She must have prior road traffic convictions surely. If there was any suggestion that the fault lay with the insurer then 'Special Reasons' could have been argued and the court asked to exercise its discretion not to endorse or disqualify. Either (1) she has been very badly advised or represented before the court, (2) Never told any of this to the Magistrate for whatever reason, (3) her explanation has been disbelieved or (4) has been treated with undue harshness.