Friday, June 06, 2008

Newsnight Questions over Tory Chairman Caroline Spelman and the public purse...

Tory Party chairman Caroline Spelman appears to have paid the wages of her nanny out of the public purse, apparently breaking rules on parliamentary allowances, according to BBC Newsnight's top story tonight.

Ironically, it was Ms Spelman who was tasked by Tory Leader David Cameron to clean up the Tory image following the £445,000 expenses scandal of Giles 'oops-a-daisy' Chichester.

He was forced yesterday to resign as Leader of the Tories in Europe after admitting breaching European Parliament rules.

Ms Spelman was due this weekend to examine Mr Chichester's expense claims!

Newsnight reporter Michael Crick called into question attempts by Tory HQ to claim that Mrs Spelman's nanny was constituency secretary as well as childminder. A Tory Party spokesperson suggested that a large part of Tina Haynes' work was as a secretary.

But in a telephone interview with Crick earlier today, Ms Haynes made it clear that although she occasionally answered the phone and posted letters, her primary role was childminding...

As former standards chairman Alistair Graham told Newsnight: "These stories are very damaging to our political system."

At least we now know what the Tories mean when they talk about 'The Nanny State'...

UPDATE: The BBC website is now carrying the story.

UPDATE 2: Now also running on the Daily Mail website.

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