Steve Double is the Conservative MP for St Austell and Newquay. Steve’s a bit of an enigma. Earlier this year he was an enthusiastic no-deal brexiteer who thought May’s deal was a ‘betrayal’. But now Steve’s a loyal supporter of Johnson’s deal.
Steve has ‘consistently voted for a reduction of spending on welfare benefits’ but apparently there’s another altogether kindlier Steve who’s ‘compassionate and liberal-minded’, at least according to his own twitter account.
Then we have the Steve who ‘consistently voted for a stricter asylum system’. This Steve mustn’t be confused with the Steve who works closely with a campaign to help refugees settle in Britain and promotes humanitarian responses to immigration.
One Steve said brexit was ‘an opportunity for the UK to recover some of its diluted heritage’; the other Steve stated ‘Britain is more multi-cultural than ever before and this is something to be proud of’. (These two statements were made at the same meeting!)
Meet the Steve who spurns no opportunity to wrap himself in the St Piran’s flag. This must be a different Steve from the one who’s keen to promote the Great South West.
One Steve thinks it’s ‘time to truly decentralise Britain.’ This can’t be the same Steve who has ‘almost always voted against transferring more powers to the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly or to local councils’, can it?
Then there’s the Steve who was horrified at the weak jokes tweeted by Lib Dem candidate Danny Chambers in North Cornwall. That Steve wasn’t at all shocked by the other Steve, who happily retweeted doctored Tory videos of an interview with Labour’s Keir Starmer at the beginning of this election campaign.
The only explanation has to be the existence of two Steve Doubles. This explains how he has found the time since February 2018 to take on another half-time job in addition to his parliamentary duties. Not to mention tweeting to all and sundry. Either that or he’s an alien or robot that doesn’t need to sleep.
The Steve, it’s a bit unclear which one it is, that describes himself as a ‘Christian Cornish Conservative’, has been spending three days of his time since February 2018 as a ‘policy advisor’ to the Good Faith Partnership (GFP). It’s not clear where its funding comes from, but this looks like a bona-fide faith-based charity that works to encourage humanitarian responses to immigration, welcomes resettled refugees, wishes to improve financial inclusion and publicise the challenges Christians face in the Middle East. Although it’s not exactly clear who’s advising whom. While Steve says he’s a ‘policy advisor’ to the GFP, the GFP claims it’s placed advisors with Steve and two other parliamentarians.
Advice doesn’t come free. For this Steve is paid £20,500 a year, not to mention the £500 the GFP handed over to help pay for Steve’s trip to Brussels in November 2018 to discuss UK immigration policy after brexit. Since June this year the number of days Steve has been doing this has been cut from three days a week to two and a half, although the daily rate rose from £133 to £144. This is, of course, in addition to his £79,000 annual MP’s salary.
Amazing how one man can find time to do both these jobs, although one might have thought providing policy advice couldn’t possibly take up three whole days a week. You’d think a meeting every month or so would be quite sufficient.
However does he fit it all in? There’s only one possible explanation. Sorry to break the news to the voters of St Austell and Newquay but there just has to be two Steve Doubles.
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