MP accused of being rude and aggressive in select committee hearings
MEDIA RELEASE: 16 August 2018
The End-of-Life Choice Society has lodged a formal complaint about MP Maggie Barry, accusing her of being rude and aggressive in select committee hearings on assisted dying. The society’s president Maryan Street complained about Barry’s “trademark rudeness and discourtesy” in a letter to Justice Select Committee chairman Raymond Huo. It was tabled with the committee at Parliament today.
Street said many members of the EOLC society had registered their concern at the MP’s treatment of them when they made submissions to the committee on David Seymour’s End of Life Choice bill.
“They have found her to be discourteous, disrespectful, dismissive and aggressive during their hearings. It is one thing for an MP to hold a dissenting view from a submitter; it is quite another to be rude and belittling when members of the public are submitting a contrary opinion.
“Ms Barry’s views on the EOLC Bill are well known. That is not the matter about which I am complaining. She is as entitled to her opinion as I am to mine. It is her now trademark rudeness and discourtesy which is the subject of my complaint, on behalf of others.”
Maryan Street said that for many people it had been their first experience of making a personal submission before a select committee and the MP had turned it “into a tortuous one”.
“They have come away feeling unheard and diminished. That should not be the outcome of any submitter’s experience of presenting to a select committee.”
The committee is touring the country to hear personal submissions on the bill and with several more months of hearings ahead before the committee reports back to Parliament, Maryan Street asked the chairman to require all MPs to “conduct themselves with the courtesy and respect which they themselves would like to be accorded”.
She added: “That is not too much to expect of our Parliamentary representatives, no matter how strongly their own opinions are held.”
Contact : Maryan Street 021 977 555
Released by David Barber, EOLC media adviser 021 072 8760