Church attack on St Albans MP over poverty bill

MP ANNE Main has come under fire for failing to support a bill to try and stop vulture funds which prey on the world s poorest countries. She was criticised for being unable to get to Parliament late last month to vote on the Debt Relief (Developing Cou

MP ANNE Main has come under fire for failing to support a bill to try and stop "vulture funds" which prey on the world's poorest countries.

She was criticised for being unable to get to Parliament late last month to vote on the Debt Relief (Developing Countries) Bill.

Chris Lane, senior pastor at St Albans Vineyard Church in Brick Knoll Park, St Albans, said: "What prospective candidates in the forthcoming election need to understand is that ordinary people have an extraordinary capacity for compassion. We need leaders of integrity who share their compassion as well as their concerns. Those who are found wanting may be able to run but when it comes to polling day they will not be able to hide."

But Mrs Main, MP for St Albans, said the comments betrayed an ignorance of the working of Parliament. She said: "There was no necessity for me to be there. I am one of its co-sponsors but the day in question was merely a second reading for it to be nodded through to the committee stage. The bill has cross-party support and as such it did go through on the nod as I knew it would."


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She added: "I had important constituency matters to attend to and I had my priorities straight."

Vulture funds are companies which buy up the debts of the world's poorest countries often at very low prices. They then take advantage of weak laws in the UK, using our courts to sue the countries for the full value of the debt, plus expenses.

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It causes enormous problems for heavily-indebted countries many of whom cannot afford to provide their citizens with basic living standards such as healthcare and education.

The Bill would force the firms to write off some of the money - perhaps by as much as 90 per cent of the debt.

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