Conservative Diary

« David Davis urges Cameron to hold referendum on Europe within three months of coming to power | Main | Cameron says Kelly reforms must be accepted in full at a PMQs noticeable for John Bercow's insistence that Brown stops the party political answers »

Tory MPs' wives consult lawyers after Kelly recommends ending their Commons employment

Christopher Kelly has launched his report and it contains few surprises. Nearly all Conservatives will, I suspect, welcome the proposal to abolish the Communications Allowance (already David Cameron's policy) and to allow MPs to retain outside paid interests.

We had confirmation that those within a one hour commute will not be allowed a second home and all MPs will have to rent from now on, ending the mortgage assistance scheme.

The one area of greatest controversy for the Conservative parliamentary party will be the issue of employing family members.  Kelly has recommended the ending of employment of all family members within five years but MPs' spouses are talking to lawyers in order to establish if this can be consistent with employment law.

Eve Burt (interviewed here), Suzy Gale and Sally Hammond have issued a press release insisting that their employment is defensible:

"We are a highly professional group of people, dedicated to serving our MP’s constituents.  Like other workers we have Contracts of Employment and we are paid to scales scrutinised and approved by the House authorities.  If anyone wishes to follow an “audit trail” our records of work are open and entirely transparent."

TAXPAYERS ALLIANCE 11.30am: Matthew Elliott of the TaxPayers' Alliance has called for the report to be implemented in full:

“Sir Christopher has produced a firm and fair set of proposals for reforming MPs’ expenses, which do justice to taxpayers’ concerns. These rules would allow Parliament to take the first step on the road to regaining public confidence. It is now essential that his recommendations are adopted by Parliament and the new expenses Authority immediately and in full. People will not stand for another fudge or any more obstructive behaviour. The Kelly Report is the way forward for Parliament, and it must not be watered down or cherry-picked in any way.”

Tim Montgomerie


You must be logged in using Intense Debate, Wordpress, Twitter or Facebook to comment.