So reports the Daily Mail:
"Senior Tory Caroline Spelman is set to keep her shadow cabinet job after a report into the "Nannygate" affair found her guilty only of inadvertent breaches of Commons rules. Parliamentary Standards Commissioner John Lyon was mildly critical of her but concluded there were "grey areas" on current rules, sources said."
The BBC is, however, saying that she will be ordered to repay some money.
I’m delighted for Caroline Spelman. Let the matter rest there. Having watched what Betsy Duncan Smith went through in the investigation of her work for her husband, I should imagine recent long months have been gruelling.
Wednesday morning update:
- CCHQ has supplied me with a briefing on ‘nannygate’ and it’s worth publishing a few of its components here:
- The Commissioner found that ‘Mrs Haynes had the necessary ability to do the job in terms of her personal skills’ and that ‘Mrs Haynes did undertake the work of an administration assistant which Mrs Spelman asked her to do’ and for which she was paid.
- The Commissioner accepted that Mrs Haynes ‘was available to work for 18 hours a week’ and dismissed the allegation that Mrs Haynes did not work 18 hours a week as an administration assistant.
- The Commissioner ‘received striking evidence of Mrs Spelman’s personal integrity, probity and standing in the community and among her colleagues’.
- He also noted that she ‘found an arrangement that worked for her as a new Member of Parliament and for her family. Were it not for the way she apportioned the remuneration between the dual roles, it was…a perfectly reasonable arrangement to have made at the time and in all the circumstances’.
- He found that ‘in the rush of business, Mrs Spelman did not consider separately what would be a reasonable remuneration including pay for nannying duties and what pay was necessary solely to support her in her parliamentary duties’ and that the effect of breaching the rules was ‘unintended’.
"I fully accept the findings of this inquiry which I sought because I wanted the opportunity to clear my name. I am glad the committee finds that the work done by Tina Haynes met a genuine need for an assistant in the constituency, that she was qualified to do the job and that the work was done. However, as the Committee notes, the arrangements had the unintended effect of misapplying some of my Parliamentary allowances for non-Parliamentary purposes, for which I am sorry. This is a finding which I take very seriously and I will of course immediately pay the money in question back. The Committee makes clear that this breach of the rules on my part was unintended. It took place more than a decade ago when I was a new MP. But I apologise sincerely for it: I fully accept people have a right to expect the highest standards from people in public life."