Stroud’s Conservative MP, Neil Carmichael, isn’t famed for his media profile. And so it was with a little surprise that I saw that he featured in Hugh Muir’s Guardian Diary.
They say any publicity is good publicity…for Mr Carmichael’s sake I hope that’s true.
Muir writes on Mr Carmichael’s rather strange question in the Commons:
“There are neighbourhood plans in Chalford, Dursley, Eastington and nearly a dozen other areas in my constituency,” boasted Stroud MP Neil Carmichael. “Does the minister agree that a good neighbourhood plan is an appropriate protector against inappropriate developments?” And Boles did agree – but how can there be a dozen plans in Stroud when there are only a handful in existence, voted through by referendums, in England and Wales? “There actually aren’t any,” one puzzled constituent said. “It was a puff question to support the coalition’s planning policy.” Can that be so, we asked Carmichael. “None have had the vote yet, but some are close,” he said. “I should have corrected it at the time. I should have said there are neighbourhood plans under way.” Indeed. No one wants the House misled.
Not exactly the sort of national press coverage Mr Carmichael would have been hoping for.