Ian Payne 4pm - 7pm
Vicar is refusing to vote due to politicians' "lack of integrity across the board"
6 November 2019, 16:27 | Updated: 7 November 2019, 08:38
This vicar called in to tell Shelagh Fogarty that he is refusing to vote for the first time due to the "dishonest" and "unkind" behaviour of politicians.
He continued that there is a complete lack of integrity and trust "right across the board amongst all the political parties."
The politicians have shown lack of kindness and empathy towards one another, he continued, citing social media as an example of a platform used by MPs to hit out at rival colleagues.
"It's become a bit of an epidemic across society where we can't debate kindly and nicely, they're just dishonest!" the vicar Alex said.
Shelagh agreed that there is a general disrespect which has emerged in the House of Commons, which is "not a small matter."
The vicar again impressed the importance of integrity and said, "I'm not going to vote for somebody who's going to lie to me. I think we the electorate should be encouraged not to vote if that's how we feel."
He likened it to voting for Thomas Cook or Mothercare, both brands having collapsed into administration within the last year, and said: "There's two bad options, which one would you pick? It's your moral duty to do it."
Shelagh pointed out that there are more parties than just Labour and Conservative to which the vicar responded that as a Leave voter he could not back Lib Dems.
Shelagh then asked whether Alex would be leading his congregation to the same decision.
"I certainly won't be imposing my view on others," he said, acknowledging that while people fought in wars to enable us to vote, he cannot get past the dishonesty.
"They fought in wars for you to be free," said Shelagh, "and you're exercising your freedom."
"I maintain that I feel comfortable not voting as it maintains my integrity," the vicar said, "I think politicians should do the same, but sadly many of them don't."