I want to clarify the reasons for my vote on the 'EU Tampon Tax'.
I have had quite a bit of correspondence today about the vote in the House of Commons on whether tampons should be subject to VAT, as the EU has decided they should. My personal opinion is that they are not a luxury but a necessity and therefore no VAT should be payable.
Some have pointed out that I voted against the proposal to renegotiate this with the EU, and there is a very logical reason for that. The vote was purely and simply the Labour's Party's invention to allow them to criticise the Government. The reality is that the PM is renegotiating this tax as a part of his wider renegotiation on our relationship with the EU, and this whole vote is just a show so that Labour can say we 'voted against women' - that is wholly untrue.
The reality is it's an EU law and we can't change it, apart from through renegotiating our wider position, which the PM is already doing - and whilst we're at it we should be talking about things like shaving foam, contraceptives and other products which are not luxuries that are also subject to VAT.
I do support removing the VAT from all of these products, but my Conservative colleagues and I will not pander to Labour's attempt to to put party political arguments ahead of the real issues. The renegotiation of policies like this is already underway and we are talking directly with the EU.