Hitchin and Harpenden MP accused of 'careerism' for new parliamentary private secretary role

PUBLISHED: 15:00 23 August 2019

Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami has been accused of

Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami has been accused of "careerism". Picture: Martin Wootton

Martin Wootton

The Hitchin and Harpenden MP has been accused of "careerism" for taking up a role in the new Prime Minster's government.

Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami is now parliamentary private secretary to the Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss. Picture: Stefan RousseauHitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami is now parliamentary private secretary to the Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss. Picture: Stefan Rousseau

Moving on from his position as parliamentary private secretary (PPS) to the Secretary of State for International Development, Bim Afolami is now PPS to the Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss.

Mr Afolami said: "Liz is going to be a fantastic advocate for global Britain, signing trade deals across the globe."

Boris Johnson became Prime Minister in late July with a hard-line position on Brexit - that the UK will leave the EU in October with or without a deal.

Chair of Remain campaign group Harpenden for Europe, Richard Scott, has said there is a disparity between Mr Afolami's new role and his previous campaigning against a No Deal Brexit.

Richard said: "Bim's blatant careerism and trail of broken promises on Brexit are a disgrace. He has repeatedly denied his constituents a say on the Brexit Deal, starting with Theresa May's Withdrawal Agreement and now the 'valley of death' of No Deal.

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"He is treating his constituents with contempt and taking them for granted."

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary hopeful for the Hitchin and Harpenden constituency, Sam Collins, has echoed these concerns: "It is always disappointing to see a politician put career and party before constituents, but sadly it is all too common.

"I think too many politicians forget that you are elected to serve the constituency, the constituency is not there to serve your own personal goals or those of your party.

"It is things like this that give politics and politicians a bad name."

Previous to the international development role Mr Afolami worked as a PPS in the Department for Transport.

Mr Afolami stressed he is not a minister: "I urged Harpenden for Europe and their supporters to accept the result of the referendum and accept the moderate, compromise agreement put forward by Theresa May.

"They rejected that moderate approach, and insisted on pushing for an absolutist position, exactly the same behaviour as those Brexiteers who voted against the Withdrawal Agreement.

"This behaviour from both sides, found both within and outside Parliament across the UK, is one of the reasons why we find ourselves in this position as a country."

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