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Heroes….

Ben Wallace MP (although the hero status may be questioned by his colleagues) who has provided a comprehensive breakdown of his expenses in a release for The Sunday Times.  Two reactions:

  • Ben Brogan: "His unilateral action will not endear him to some of his colleagues (not just Tories) who would rather we didn’t know precisely how they spend the money we give them. It pre-empts any further steps David Cameron might choose to take. It is also way ahead of Gordon Brown who, beyond encouraging transparency, has yet to propose anything concrete. Mr Wallace has done the taxpayer a favour by coming clean and showing other MPs how it should be done. A small step in restoring his party’s reputation."
  • Alex Deane: "I am uncertain as to whether the prurient witch-hunts this may lead to, and the less flexible and attractive operative environment it would guarantee if adopted as a general approach, are good things."

Greg Hands MP for getting The Sunday Telegraph to cover the Prime Minister’s apparent breach of rules on rent from constituency offices.  More here.

Zeroes…

Derek Conway gives a no-apologies interview to the Mail on Sunday
in which he calls for higher pay for MPs.  He recommends £80,000 to
£100,000.  The interview also contains underhand suggestions that Sir George Young’s verdict might have reflected his ambition to be Speaker – in competition with Mr Conway.  The newspaper also carries a story in which a source at
Derek Conway’s former employer describes his expense claims as a
"continual cause for concern".  Fraser Nelson
is intrigued by Conway’s interview: "What I love about the Derek
Conway’s je ne regrette rien in the Mail on Sunday is the way he gives
clues as to where the other bodies are buried. “I know many MPs with
family members who have different names registered so that they are not
so obviously spotted. Some spouses work under maiden names,” he coos.
“We often came across people and we’d say, ‘I didn’t realise they were
related.”

Simon Walters of the MoS tells us btw that Derek Conway wasn’t paid a penny for the interview.

The Winterton MPs – Ann and Nicholas – for claiming a rent allowance on a house they fully own but the ownership of which they transferred to their children.  The Times’ Sam Coates asks lots of questions about the arrangement.

Bob Spink MP employs his daughter, ex-wife (who lives 150 miles
outside constituency) and ex-lover’s daughter.  Nothing too dodgy, of
course, but splashed by the Mail on Sunday nonetheless.

The Sunday Times for misrepresenting Julian Brazier MP.  Julian Brazier has issued a statement calling for an apology and retraction from The Sunday Times.

25 comments for: Ethical heroes and zeroes in the Sunday newspapers

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