Hey council, leave those Bentleys alone, says Keynsham MP Jacob Rees Mogg
By JoannaPazucha | Wednesday, February 22, 2012, 15:52
Keynsham MP Jacob Rees Mogg has hit out at plans to impound cars that are sold outside the owner's home, saying such powers should not be given to teenage council officials.
Keynsham MP Jacob Rees Mogg
Debating the London Local Authorities Bill in the House of Commons, Mr Rees Mogg said he was worried a Bentley owner could be targetted by a malicious neighbour, who would post a picture of the car online, list it as being for sale, before ringing the council to report it.
Mr Ress Mogg said: "Then around comes this authorised officer and practically drives off in your brand new Bentley. It would be very tiresome for the person who had bought a brand new Bentley, if anyone could afford such things in these times of austerity."
He added: "I think being a car salesman is a really honourable profession. Trading cars is the way to starting in business.
"Eventually you're buying Aston Martin DB5s and putting them outside your front door for £150,000 – cheap at twice the price some might say – and that's before you've even got on to thinking about Bentleys.
"Great cars that they are too, though perhaps not quite as good as Aston Martins some might say, with the style and sleek lines that they have. To get people starting in business, how are we going to get this economy revived if we don't encourage the small businessman?"
He continued: "It can often be a mistake to give power to relatively junior people who have excessive power in one particular area. If you take the authorised officer who is likely to do this, he is likely to be a relatively lowly official who suddenly has the power to go around and confiscate a car.
"It might be quite a nice car, it might be that Aston Martin DB5 I was talking about earlier that somebody was trying to sell for a good price and some teenage council officer who comes round and says 'I rather like that, so bang, I've seen that on the internet and I am now going to seize it with a seizure notice'.
"That doesn't build in the proper protections we ought to have as British subjects."
The Bill has been debated on several occasions, with Mr Rees-Mogg earlier failing in his motion to have all council officials wear bowler hats.
Mr Rees-Mogg's hour-long speech also included a veiled attack on Ken Livingstone, the coats of arms of the London boroughs and the Jeeves stories written by PG Wodehouse.
Mr Rees-Mogg's amendment to the Bill, which would have scrapped a clause handing powers to councils to seize cars being sold on the street, was defeated by 96 votes to 11, Government majority 85. The Bill's Third Reading will continue on February 28