Sunday, November 15, 2009

Thought for the day – MP’s on Family values and loyalty, when it counts

I’ll keep this brief, as I can (some chance), a lot of comment has flowed over the last two weeks particularly in the papers, concerning whether or not MP’s spouses should or shouldn’t be allowed to involve themselves with their partners work, and of course we all know that MP Roger Gale has taken a principled stand on the issue, being as you’d expect supportive and outspoken in defence of his wife and spouses of other MP’s who help manage their offices.

Now this is obviously a tricky subject but for a bit of balance MP Stephen Ladyman, employs his wife Janet as constituency Office Manager, so here’s the line I’m taking, which our new improved “Gazette” failed to pursue, just where does the esteemed member for Thanet South stand, one presumes that the great man had no qualms about employing his wife prior to the recent proposals so apart from some kerfuffle caused bent bent and crooked colleagues where does he stand, for instance has Mrs Ladyman received notice that her job may be in jeopardy, has he issued noticed or even “the P45”.

I think we should be told, has Ladyman decided to meekly to go with the flow in the rather optimistic hope he might just get re-elected next summer?

It seems extraordinary that any democrat would sit by and see a class of employee have their employment rights trampled on as somehow righting the wrongs of MP’s who’ve in several cases been involve in blatant fraud.

The crazy aspect of this no spouses rule ignores the reality that many couples don’t bother getting married so how would parliament deal with that.

Just out of curiosity it would be interesting to know whether Ladyman and other MP’s in this situation have discussed the matter, I mean how would you broach it, I suppose being politicians it wouldn’t quite be as blunt as “I’m going to have to let you go” or would it?


  1. Principles and Labour politicians do not mix.

  2. Tony I think a major factor that has been overlooked here is that the report recommended this rule should be phased in over a period of time, I take this to mean that it won’t come into effect until after the next general election, this would mean any MP standing would know before that they wouldn’t be able to employ relations.

    Obviously I an MP loses his or her seat their wife or husband would be out of a job anyway, so they all started knowing that the job security only lasted until the next election.

  3. Anonymous 11.35, I think your comment more applicable to Tories in Thanet when we have a councillor taking himself off to central America, another in court (or not, as he didn't appear), a Leader who.... well, just don't get me started on the rest of them

  4. My understanding is that Steve Ladyman is not entirely happy with the recommendation either, but accepts that in the current furore over expenses it is a sacrifice that must be made.

    Roger (Gale) feels it is an unnecessary restriction of his reasonable fredom, and quite possibly illegal.

    Neither will have to make full and final decisions about these arrangements for five years ie for the life of the next parliament.

    Which may explain Steve's rather more laid back attitude!

  5. The difference in 2 politicians. Roger Gale stands up for his principles. Steve Ladyman always does as he is told. Unfortunately, as a liberal, Thanet doesn't offer a good choice

  6. Very confused about this expenses debacle ,what is going to happen to same sex partnerships? or Councillors claiming expenses when both are on the Council?

  7. MP's expenses are, and have been, run very differently from those at county or district council level.

    For councils the checking and allowance of expenses is pretty tight - you cannot claim for social events for example, unless you are the official representative, even in your area. There is a list sent out periodicaly reminding us what is claimable and what is not.

    Same sex partnerships are no different than marriage for this purpose, as long as it is registered as a civil partnership; where married members attend meetings or events I suspect the authorities would not normally expect 2 claims forobvious reasons. Other allowances, such as the cllrs allownce is for each seat so couples borth representing a seat get one each as if they did not livetogether. Which is right as they still individually do the work for their seat (one hopes!).