This is an open response to a letter from Graham Evans MP, a copy of which is available on this site:

The letter was prompted by a tweet of mine which criticised his vote against an amendment to the immigration bill:

I'll take the points made in the letter one by one and offer my response below.

I'm sure you'll agree that social media is not an appropriate platform to discuss such sensitive issues particularly as there are a number of layers to consider

I don't agree at all. The issue is one of national importance and public in its very nature. If there are matters which have influenced your vote and which are not known to your constituents, they should be made public.

I do note that your Twitter account makes reference to your being the District Commissioner for Mersey Weaver Scouts - can I assume from this that your posts and comments are made on behalf of Cheshire Scouts / The Scout Association and that you are voicing their policy and opinion?

Of course not. The account is quite obviously personal and any opinions are entirely my own. Just in case it's somehow not clear to you, this site is also personal and the opinions in this post are entirely my own.

If you wish to view the thoughts of Mersey Weaver Scout District, Cheshire Scout County or the Scout Association, I refer your to their own Twitter accounts @MerseyWeaver, @CheshireScouts and @UKScouting respectively.

I also note that you follow and / or are followed by a number of scout related groups locally, including the County Commissioner, and I am concerned that you feel it appropriate to use four letter comments about issues such as customer service.

Given that you are in a position of responsibility in respect of young people I would venture that you may wish to moderate the tone of your postings to the extent that they do not use offensive or inappropriate language.

I assume the tweet you're referring to is where I describe the service from TPO Mobile as 'a bit crap.' It's hardly the most offensive language and only the most petty-minded and fervent puritan would use it to imply that I'm somehow corrupting the minds of the young.

As a Scout Association Ambassador and a Member of the national Council, I would be most disappointed were your comments to be misconstrued and reflect on the good works done through scouting generally.

If you believe I'm failing to discharge my duties as District Commissioner, I refer you to the Scout Association's complaints policy: You already have the contact details for my County Commissioner to whom any complaint should be addressed.

And if you don't believe that, then only one question remains: Why exactly did you go to the trouble of writing your letter in the first place?


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