SIR: Following his Damascene conversion to the cause of “Getting Brexit done” and all the damage to the economy that has already wrought (watch this space, that damage is far from over) followed by his recent vote against controls on sewage discharge as reported here, it was in vain that I sought to find Steve Brine’s name amongst the Tory rebels who refused to vote in favour of corruption in the commons last week, or at least amongst those that abstained. My letter to him as a constituent conveying my disappointment did not anticipate a reply and of course did not receive one – what could he possibly say in mitigation?

Perhaps the answer lies in Mr Brine’s inclusion in another list that has surfaced in recent days – that of the number of MPs deriving significant income from outside interests whilst continuing to serve as a constituency MP. In Mr Brine's case some £58,000+ for around 40 days a year and hard to see the public interest being served by his work for Remedium, Microlink and Sigma, all of which presumably arose as a result of his brief tenure at the Department of Health. No possible conflict there, then. Oh, except we learn that he attended a webinar with Sigma with the vaccines minister in February not long before they were awarded a contract, although admittedly this was small beer at £100,000 compared to some of the more outrageous examples out there.

No suggestion of wrongdoing here per se, but are we really OK with an MP’s work being regarded as a part-time occupation, as it is for some? When are the voters of Winchester going to wake up to what is going on right under their noses?

Russell Wheeler,

Chemin de chez Reaud,



SIR: I concur fully with Joanna Lewis' view (Chronicle, November 4) that we need new decision makers, if ever we have any hope of saving our country.

As the Right Honourable Steve Brine is so fond of reminding us, he was a former parliamentary undersecretary of state for public health and primary care. Given his concern for our health, about which he so often trumpets, it beggars belief that he did not stand and be counted against a vote permitting yet more raw sewage to be dumped into our rivers and seas.

It is high time that “our sitting MP” takes to his feet and walks away, while he still can. It is well known that he has coined £60,000 a year, giving advice to three health care companies. It is amazing that he can spare the time, or has he forgotten that his over-riding responsibility is to his constituents?

One could be forgiven for believing that our Prime Minister believes that his role includes having a good time at whoever's expense, furthering the interests of his friends and supporters and 'doing down' his enemies. I feel sure that Mr Brine utterly rejects this view of Parliamentary behaviour.

Una Stevens,

Cliff Way,