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really,really hope Nick Robinson is wrong. If he's not I would seriously question my commitment to the party.

Fair point. But still Conway broke Parliamentary rules. If I was employing a spouse or family member I would keep records to show that they were actually working. weve been here before, most notably with Iain Duncan Smith, and surely that would have sent the message "account for everything". The part about being honourable is rather old-fashioned. If you are giving huge sums of money to family members and you cannot account for why the money is being earned, then questions are placed upon the honour of that person.

I didnt want Cameron to be Leader but I would support him were he to wield the knife on this one. Cameron must be clinical about this. Hiding behind the honour line in Parliament isnt good enough.

David Cameron may be forced to chose between his MPs and his party members.

Lets be clear the story of Mr Conway is tragic, but its also toxic.

If we were talking about benefit fraud rather than misuse of expenses then a court appearance would follow.

Is it really to be one rule for the ruling political class and another for everyone else?

Perhaps its time that Cameron took on the powerful coalition... or time that the old guard understood that acting honorably is the only way to justify being called an "Honorable Member".

"Conway is a popular Tory MP"

No he isn't.

He's popular with some.

Most regard him as a bully.

Conway has been reported to the Met by the LDs...


Conway popular- in whose opinion? He's in a safe seat, appears to have little or no interest in doing anything except feathering the family nest. What an own goal...

This just shows how out of touch many MP's are with the real world on the ground.

So what if there is an old guard- perhaps it's time they were dispatched for once and for all-

CCHQ Spy - You are right; he is emphatically NOT popular!!

Its too late for Cameron to salvage anything from this story, even if he were to remove the Whip immediately. The Met has been called in and Cameron will look like events leading him to action rather than him controlling it and making the decision at the right time.

This is a matter of Parliamentary privilege, and so it is most unlikely that the CPS could find anything to charge him with.

That said, I don't know where Nick Robinson gets the idea from that Conwar is popular. Even if he was, that's no excuse for not taking action against him.

In fact, it is outrageous that Tory MPs and candidates get disciplined for speaking out of turn, yet financial sleaze is dealt with leniently.

MP's of all parties must be cursing the pygmy-brained jobsworth who started this hare as a futile attempt to switch attention from the much more serious financial scandals affecting the front bench of Nulab. "They're all as bad as us" has more than a whiff of the playground to it and is risable as a political strategy. I hope the parliamentary conservative party has the wit to treat the incident in a adult manner and not play to the tripe-hounds of the media by "tit for tat" briefings.

If any of the above is tru then it is pathetic. I have just heard on the news that the Liberal Democrats have reffered this to the police! The fact that it is till the lead story on all news outlets is bad enough, but were the police to get involved it would be terrible.

How can cameron attack Brown for being weak, cowardly and indecisive now?

PMQs on Wednesday has the potential to be awful!

Cameron should have acted the moment Conway admitted his guilt.

Sean Fear, how sure are you...unless MPs are above the law? The Theft Act 1968 (as amended in 1996) surely applies? Conway's actions seem to provide all the right ingredients for a visit by the Old Bill. Section 15A of the Act -

15A. Obtaining a money transfer by deception
(1) A person is guilty of an offence if by any deception he dishonestly obtains a
money transfer for himself or another.
(2) A money transfer occurs when-
(a) a debit is made to one account,
(b) a credit is made to another, and
(c) the credit results from the debit or the debit results from the credit.
(3) References to a credit and to a debit are to a credit of an amount of money and to a debit of an amount of money.
(4) It is immaterial (in particular)-
(a) whether the amount credited is the same as the amount debited;
(b) whether the money transfer is effected on presentment of a cheque or by another method;
(c) whether any delay occurs in the process by which the money transfer is effected;
(d) whether any intermediate credits or debits are made in the course of the money transfer;
(e) whether either of the accounts is overdrawn before or after the money transfer is effected.
(5) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years.

The actions of Conway should be serious only for him. If Cameron fails to act decisively aginst him then the matter becomes serious for Cameron and my Party.

This MP has just provided irrefutable proof that he is not an 'honourable Member', so old guard or not, he should be given the push and have the whip removed.

My respect for Cameron has diminished considerably.

Conway is an idiot. What on earth made him think he could get away with it. Cameron has brought the party into the 21 st century and we now have MPs who are real people - or do we? He is the type of MP which gave us the label " nasty party".David give him the push!

This implies that if Conway wasn't popular, if he wasn't old guard, if he didn't have powerful friends he would have been thrown to the dogs.

What terrible double standards.

I don't think it's fair to call Cameron indecisive though. I thought he was just a dough-faced vacillator; but he's proved he can make decisions - he's decisively stood up for graft, political expediency and double standards.

Nostradamus, his offence is against Parliament. It is for Parliament to decide what action should be taken against him (a bit of finger wagging, it would seem).

If, as reported in the Telegraph today, Conway improperly paid his son £50,000 why is he only paying back up to £13,000?

Coming on top of the Labour ministerial scandals this will be seen as just another example of sleaze - this time by a Tory.

Of course not all MPs are dishonest, but the only way public confidence can be restored is for their expenses to be disclosed; something they have so far resisted. Whether Conway has the whip withdrawn is immaterial. He has brought disgrace on himself, his family and his party.

Cameron should take action and clear out some of the deadwood.

How many more family members are there?

I feel doubly betrayed by the Conway business:
Firstly as a Conservative Party member, this man's dishonest behaviour has brought shame upon the party, compounded by Cameron's unwillingness, so far, to take firm action.
Secondly, as a taxpayer, I and all other taxpayers have been cheated and robbed by this cheat with his snout firmly in the public trough.

We all know Labour are the party of sleaze and corruption but I thought our party was now above this. It's not too late for Cameron to rectify matters.

While not a relation to an MP, i work full time in parliament as a caseworker. I do about 20 letters a day to constituents, as well as press releases, mailshots and research pieces. I find it very hard to believe that its impossible for conway to produce evidence that his son has been working; everything i do is saved onto the parliamentary hard drive, which also accessible from our constituency office. There would be some record somewhere if young freddie had been doing work. I am as loyal as you can get but i am still disgusted by this. Conway should have had the whip withdrawn. I just hope his constituency party has the good sense to deselect him.

I suggest David Cameron writes to the Old Bexley association chairman requesting that Mr Conway face reselection by open primary within 12 months of the expected election date of May 2009.

Sean Fear - I'm not aware of any Parliamentary immunity from prosecution for for MPs. It does not matter from where the money came from (us taxpayers ultimately), a deception is a deception. If the Old Bill turn up at the Commons and demaand all the paperwork they can hardly refuse. So, respectfully, I disagree with you. This is a public matter and the police should deal accordingly is asked to.

As to the main thread, Cameron has done himself a great harm over his handling of Bovver-Boy Conway. If he does see the light and act he can rightly be accused by one Gordon Brown of dithering. After all he was swift to act over Patrick Mercer and Graham Brady - and none of them were chastised by the House authorities or came even close to breaking the law of the land.

No, Conway must get the chop.

Otto - clearly you did not see what Derek Conway did to Rachel Whetstone when she accused him of being one of the bed-blockers. He came close to a capital offence by virtually wringing her scrawny little neck, and I mean literally. There were witnesses to that event...

Re "Cameron has brought the party into the 21 st century": LOL. I think not. And just look at the backgrounds of the parliamentary party. The predominance of public school, Oxbridge and professional politicians. The party was probably better off when it had more MPs with greater experience outside the Westminster village.

Nick Robinson is wrong (again). The whip has been withdrawn apparently...

BBC reporting the whip's been withdrawn. Right decision.

Whether Conway is popular or not, what he did is wrong and people like him give politics a bad name. The man has no sense of honour or judgement.
Cameron should not allow this to fester like John Major did in the 90s.

Withdraw the whip at once and also make sure that he is deselected - he is not fit to represent the party.

If Cameron fails in this, with potentially the second Tony Lit (Helen Grant) also lurking around, who knows, Brown would even contemplate calling an election in May and we can not only kiss good-bye to power but also Londoners will have Livingstone for Mayor (perish the thought) for another 4 years.

We are aliding back to Summer 2007 fast.

It has been confirmed that Conway has had the whip removed

To coin a phrase, I wonder if David Davis 'is thinking what were thinking'? about Conway.

And should he tell us?

Malcolm Dunn says 'really,really hope Nick Robinson is wrong. If he's not I would seriously question my commitment to the party'

Of course Nick Robinson is wrong - he is doing what he is being paid to do - act as a Labour Party mouthpiece.

Now that would make an investigation!! BBC employees, paid from our licence fee, working for the Labour Party.

About time. He took long enough. Seems this Leader of the Conservative party is for turning.

Johnny Smythe at 12:27:

by virtually wringing her scrawny little neck, and I mean literally.

Not sure how one can simultaneously "virtually" and "literally" do a physical act. Anyway, would that be the same neck as David Aaronovitch (then with the Guardian) regarded as "elegant"? [see http://politics.guardian.co.uk/conservatives/story/0,,944827,00.html].

Equally, I'm not quite sure about the etiquette of offering violence to the god-mother of one's party-leader-to-be's eldest son, nor to the former bed-mate of said party-leader's wife's step-father, ... but it all sounds terribly incestuous.

See also: http://politics.guardian.co.uk/conservatives/story/0,9061,1270560,00.html

They used to say that Labour scandals were about money, that Tory scandals were about sex (and, presumably Lib(Dem)s were too busy taking bunnies to France). This little lot tends to disprove that ... but "Heh, heh, heh!" says I.

It's the absolute arrogance of these M.P.'s which astounds me. If you drop a sweet wrapper you're fined - not them !

There are many in the Conservative Party who will not mourn Derek Conway's passing, recalling his part in the undermining, and desrtruction of at least two former party leaders. Always there with a snide comment, and almost a permanent fixture on the BBC's Today programme.

And, once again, it is the Conservative Party that suffers. When, oh when, will these "Honourable Members" putting theirbrain into gear before doing, or saying, something that damages the rest of us.

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