Monday, February 04, 2008

Private firm paid Conway for research, so why did he pay his family taxpayers cash...?

Shamed Tory MP Derek Conway took money from a private company for a researcher - yet paid his son more than £40,000 out of the public purse, according to The Observer.

Catching up on the weekend papers, I spotted this nugget on Conway-gate:

Further questions are likely to be asked about why Conway used public money to employ his sons, Freddie and Henry, and one of their friends as research assistants after it emerged a private company was paying for him to have a researcher. An entry made by Conway in the parliamentary register of members' interests states that 'financial support for a research assistant fees (were) met by Regent Square Estate Limited'.

The entry was made on 26 September 2005. Conway declined to return calls asking him to reveal how much money he received from the property company, the nature of the researcher's work or how long they were employed by him.

But records at Companies House show a company called Regent Square Estates Limited gave £20,000 to the Conservative Party in the year to 30 June 2006.
The Observer goes on to say that much of the money was actually used to fund David Davis's challenge to David Cameron for the leadership of the Conservative Party which orchestrated by Conway.

Unfortunately, these questions - and many more - were not addressed in Mr Conway's withering 'I've done nothing wrong' plea in the Mail on Sunday.

4 comments:

Geoffrey G Brooking said...

Why are you so quiet about Wendy Alexander, Peter Hain and Alan Johnson???

Latest is that 100 Labour MPs also employ family members.

fairdealphil said...

Geoffrey:

As far as I am aware, the three Labour members you mention have all been accused of late reporting of PRIVATE donations.

Unlike Derek Conway, none of them have been accused of milking the taxpayer.

Nor for that matter have David Cameron or George Osborne, who both recently apparently failed to correctly report donations.

And for good measure, I also havn't been shouting about the LibDem's biggest donor who went to prison for fraud, not even UKIP's problems with donors.

For the record, I think Peter
Hain was right to resign when he did. As for Alan Johnson and Wendy Alexander, I tend to agree with the comments of senior Tory MP Ken Clarke...

fairdealphil said...

...which I've now found for you.

Speaking on BBC Question Time on Thursday, Ken said the following:

'...a £900 cheque from a man in Jersey is said to be a tremendous threat to Wendy Alexander: I’ve never heard such nonsense in my life...'

fairdealphil said...

forgot to comment on your snippet that 100 Labour MPs employ relatives:

Nothing wrong with MPs of any party employing relatives - providing the relatives do the work and are not overpaid out of the public purse to do nothing - as Conway's son clearly was.

While root and branch reform of the honourable gentleman's club may well be needed, barring MPs from employing their spouses would, in my opinion, be throwing the baby out with the bath-water....