Mr Speaker doesn't speak for me

ParliamentSo – the Speaker is going to court to try to keep secret the details of MPs‘ second homes expense claims. Well, he doesn’t speak for me when doing that!

I’ve got an open mind on the security benefits of keeping the addresses of the homes secret – especially as if you know an MP is at Parliament, that might be a good time to burgle … and for most MPs they’re not – for example – the addresses which get published anyway on nomination papers at election time.

But – goodness me – that’s no excuse to keep everything else secret.

Why not publish all the other details straight away, here and now – even if there is going to be further discussion over the addresses? That would be the act of an organisation that really believes in openness and understands the crisis in public confidence.

Instead – yet again we seem to have the Parliamentary authorities looking for excuses to avoid doing the right thing rather than finding the best way of dealing with any minor fallout from doing the right thing.

UPDATE: My colleague Norman Baker (MP for Lewes) has put it well in the papers today, “I think it sends entirely the wrong signal that the House of Commons will appear in the public’s eye to be resisting a tribunal decision and we will look as though we are trying to protect our own backs. I am sympathetic to the point that MPs’ addresses should not be made public. I think they have a right to query that point but no more.”

UPDATE 2: Nick Clegg has now written to the Speaker on the topic.

0 thoughts on “Mr Speaker doesn't speak for me

  1. Bit of a boring issue if you ask me.At least though if they were published that’d put the whole issue to bed and we could move on to something more interesting.

  2. Thanks Lynne, for making your position clear on this matter.Don’t agree with Frankie that how MPs spend our money on themselves is a “Bit of a boring issue” !!!

  3. Lynne, when are you going to publish your expences then? You could put them up here on your blog where everyone could see just what good value you are (presumably!)

  4. Well – I don’t have a second home and I don’t claim anything at all under the additional costs allowance – which is what the Freedom of Information request is about. So simple to answer that one! I do though get the London supplement of £2,812.