Did Sinn Fein MP sign Early Day Motions?
Whilst on the subject of Sinn Fein and its abstentionist attitude towards the Westminster Parliament, it was suggested to me a few weeks ago that one of their Westminster MPs may have breached - in a very small way - the party's boycott of the House of Commons.
Pat Doherty, the Sinn Fein MP for West Tyrone, was down as having signed three House of Commons Early Day Motions [EDMs]. These were on the subjects of:
1. The Science is Vital Campaign
2. Government Funding for UK Science
3. Human Rights in Burma
He was down as having signed all three motions on 11 October 2010, and his name was still up on the Parliamentary website a few days before Christmas.
But now, Mr Doherty's name has been "withdrawn" from all three motions.
His office tell me that he never signed them in the first place - that it was an administrative mix-up, and that the signatory was in fact a Scottish Labour MP - in all probability Thomas Docherty. (I'm trying to check that with the Scottish Mr Docherty.)
Just as well, for, as the spokesman for Sinn Fein's Mr Doherty says:
"We don't do EDMs. We're abstentionist."
I'm still slightly puzzled though. For while Pat Doherty's name has been withdrawn from all three motions, Thomas Docherty's name hasn't been added to any of them instead.
Perhaps that's another cock-up.