Friday 5 February 2010

MP expenses: Conservative Party has such a short memory

PoliticsHome reports the resignation of Lord Hanningfield from the Tory front bench. A Conservative Party spokesman says: "The Conservative Party has led the way in dealing with the MPs' expenses scandal". And to be fair they did their bit once the scandal broke. Quicker off the mark than the Labour Party certainly.

Of course, if the spokesman's memory had gone back a bit further, he would remember the disgraceful attempt by David Maclean (a Conservative MP) to exempt MPs from the FOI Act with the Freedom of Information Amendment Bill. If that bill had succeeded the whole scandal of MPs' expenses might never have come to light. And the bill was supported by a large majority of Conservative MPs, as well as Labour, but not by Liberal Democrats. It was Norman Baker (a Liberal Democrat MP) who talked the bill out on its first presentation, to hoots of derision from those Conservatives. And when a way was finagled to reintroduce the bill and get it through the Commons, the Lords showed their worth when not one could be found who was willing to sponsor it in that House. Pity the Conservatives have such a short memory.

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