Monday, January 28, 2008

A tale of two MPs: one loses his job and faces a police investigation, the other gets a holiday...

A few days ago, a senior Labour MP apologised for late reporting of thousands of pounds in private donations which he received to fund his bid to win an internal Labour Party election. There was no suggestion of fraud or that the money was used illegally or of misuse of public funds.

Peter Hain blamed an administrative error for reporting the donations later than he should have done.

The Electoral Commission decided to call in the police and Peter Hain responded by immediately resigning as a cabinet minister…

Today, a senior Conservative MP apologised for misusing thousands of pounds of taxpayers money.

The House of Commons Standards and Privileges Committee said Derek Conway was wrong to put his son on the public payroll when he had little or no contact with his father’s office either at Parliament or in his Old Bexley and Sidcup constituency.

The Committee was astonished that young Freddie Conway seemed to have been all but invisible during the period of his employment.

That’s because he was hundreds of miles away studying for his degree at Newcastle University.

The Tory MP generously used public funds to pay his lad way over the going rate, as well as pension payments and lavish bonuses.

Mr Conway, whose previous fame seems to be as John Major's vote fixer in the Commons, is likely to face a ten-day suspension from Parliament.

So, one MP declares private donations late, loses his job and faces a criminal investigation.

The other gets caught misusing public money and gets sent on a 10-day holiday from work.

Is this justice, or am I missing something…?

There's one more very stark difference in these two cases:

Tory Leader David Cameron was first in the queue to put pressure on Peter Hain to resign.

I have yet to hear Mr Cameron announce that Derek Conway will be barred from standing as a Conservative candidate at the next general election...

UPDATE: Spot the difference: Leading Tory blogger Iain Dale was all over the Peter Hain story last week. He has yet to utter the words Derek Conway...! Same old Tories.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Same old Tories, same old Labour hang on until the last.

Labour motto, money makes the world go around. I love it, we will have a society of the sick and disabled begging on the streets because they cannot find a job in MC Donald's but heck thats OK as well.