Belfast Telegraph

Smug and tanned: DUP's Big Davy Simpson has some cheek

"Christian values" MP who cheated on his wife hasn't the wit to shut up on moral issues, writes Suzanne Breen.

You'd think the DUP’s David Simpson would have learned his lesson.

The Upper Bann MP was never shy in the past about pontificating on how others conducted their lives.

In 2013 he spoke in Parliament against gay marriage. “This is not the jurisdiction of this government, of any European government or any government in the world,” he said.

“This is an ordained constitution of God. In the Garden of Eden it was Adam and Eve, it wasn’t Adam and Steve.”

Fast forward to last month when this newspaper exclusively revealed that Simpson was cheating on his wife of nearly 30 years.

Despite his family man public image, he was having an affair with a significantly younger local DUP councillor — married mother-of-two Louise Templeton.

Both the 59-year-old MP and councillor Templeton have permanently left their family homes and are living elsewhere.

Simpson’s son-in-law Aaron Gray said the family felt “totally betrayed and deceived”.

Life, of course, is complicated and Simpson isn’t the first and won’t be the last person to have an affair.

So you’d reckon he’d  now have the decency and humility to keep his mouth shut on moral issues.

Not a chance.

Who pops up in the House of Commons’ abortion debate on Tuesday? Big Davy, all smug and suntanned.

He had the cheek to challenge Labour MP Stella Creasy over her call for the repeal of our 19th century abortion law, which includes a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for women having terminations.

“In her aims and objectives in all of this, where do the rights of the unborn child, and life to that child, come into this. Where does it come into it?” Simpson asked in the Commons.

He could be clearly seen on TV passing other comments during the debate.

If Simpson wants to pass judgment on people’s private lives, he’d be better considering his own in light of biblical teaching.

Maybe he could start with ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery’ and ‘Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife’.

In an interview with the Newsletter in 2014, the DUP MP bemoaned the falling standards in political life.

He recalled voicing his doubts about remaining in the “very dirty business” of politics to a local minister.

Simpson said: “And he said to me: ‘David, take that thought out of your head. We need people within government today who have some kind of moral compass’.”

He told another story too. “I remember Dr Paisley telling me when I first went into the House of Commons: ‘David, many, many years ago there were many Christians in the House of Commons. We had a different country. Today, anything goes’.”

Simpson surely now falls into the “anything goes” category himself. Yet he continues to act like he doesn’t.

Not one DUP MP has uttered a single word about Simpson’s breach of family values.

And yet they lined up last week to deliberate at length about women having abortions, with Sammy Wilson talking about foetuses being “discarded and put in a bin”.

Just as nobody can force Simpson to stay faithful to his wife, so nobody should be able to force a woman to be pregnant if she doesn’t want to be. A woman who has been raped.  A woman carrying a foetus with a diagnosis of fatal foetal abnormality. A woman who has already too many mouths to feed at home.

The last person to judge or legislate for her should be the likes of David Simpson.

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