A foundation that claims democracy is at the heart of everything it does has come under fire today after blocking Chris Williamson MP's as a candidate for its MP of the Year Award - just hours after notifying him he had been nominated.
Chris received a huge number of nominations for the title, awarded by the Patchwork Foundation, and was delighted to announce he was in the running at lunchtime today.
He was warmly congratulated by hundreds of Twitter users, many of whom had nominated him, after tweeting the above - and one only has to look at the number of 'likes' his tweet received to get an indication of the amount of support he has. But just a few hours later he announced the nomination had been vetoed, after being contacted again by Patchwork.
Following a raft of complaints from outraged supporters of Mr Williamson, Patchwork claimed that he had been removed from the list of candidates because "MPs under suspension or investigation would not be included"
Since the list includes several independent MPs, it seems strange that not currently having a party whip would preclude Chris Williamson but not others. And stranger still that being under investigation would be seen as relevant, when the list still includes Tory sext-pest Andrew Griffiths, Ian Austin and Margaret Hodge (both accused of abusive behaviour), John Woodcock (who only escaped sexual harassment investigation by resigning from Labour) and Keith Vaz...
Strange, too, that Patchwork had no problem including him on their list when voting opened in June, since he was suspended at the time.
They can hardly have been unaware of the fact - it isn't as if the suspension wasn't all over the news.
If the situation regarding their exclusion criteria is as Patchwork have claimed, why then did they notify Mr Williamson that he had been nominated - knowing as they surely must have, according to their own statement, that he was not eligible?
The interesting question seems to be: What happened during the few hours between them telling him of his nomination, and notifying him that it had been 'vetoed'?
The Prole Star asked Patchwork just that question yesterday afternoon - however at the time of writing they have made no response.
For an organisation that claims to set store by democracy, and particularly seeks to reward those who encourage involvement in it, to exclude an MP whose Democracy Roadshow last year did more to engage and educate the public than any politician in years, is nothing short of shameful.