Tag Archives: malcolm rifkind

Proof that not *all* Tories are bonkers on Europe (and nor was Mrs Thatcher)

margaret thatcher europeAmidst all the Tory Euro-hysteria (‘Eurotic’, I’ve heard it described as: and I seriously hope I didn’t mis-hear) it’s easy to forget there are a few Tories, a diminishing if stoic band, who have kept tight hold of their senses.

And though it was David Cameron’s desperate last-ditch pitch for the job of Tory leader — his 2005 promise to his party’s Europhobes to withdraw the Tories from the mainstream centre-right EPP alliance, a policy even David Davis wouldn’t touch — which has, slowly but inevitably, dragged the party ever more fringewards, a few of his backbenchers remain hopeful they can persuade him, even now, to do the sensible thing.

Here’s some of what they’ve written to him:

We acknowledge the EU’s shortcomings and understand the desire and, under the Lisbon Treaty the possibility, to repatriate powers. However, we do our nation, as well as Europe, a disservice by not confidently exerting the same level of engagement and leadership as we demonstrate in organisations such as NATO, the G8, the UN Security Council or the Commonwealth.

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The top five London MPs for outside earnings

Via a survey carried out for LondonlovesBusiness.com comes this list of the top five London MPs for annual outside earnings on top of their MP salary of £65,738:

  1. Sir Malcolm Rifkind, MP for Kensington (Con) – upwards of £240,000
  2. Nick Raynsford, MP for Greenwich and Woolwich (Lab) – £60,657
  3. Mark Field, MP for Cities of London and Westminster (Con) – £41,740
  4. Jo Johnson, MP for Orpington (Con) – £12,314
  5. Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington (Lab) – £10,326

What do you think of these figures: good to see MPs having a range of activities or bad to see MPs spending time earning these sorts of sums?

 

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MPs expenses: the details that you’ve probably missed

The headline recommendations from Sir Christopher Kelley’s review of MPs’ expenses have been widely covered. Despite this coverage, there is a series of detailed proposals which have been largely overlooked – including one which may yet put the leaders of political parties on the spot over cases involving their own MPs which they thought they had dealt with.

You can read the full report here, but these are the details I have in mind:

Travel: “MPs should expect to be treated in the same way as their constituents in this regard, unless there are compelling reasons to the contrary. That

Posted in Election law and Parliament | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments

Viewing MPs’ travel expenses on a map

There’s a nifty little Google Map at http://ouseful.open.ac.uk/maps/mpTravelExpensesMap.html which is a great example of how you can use maps to make statistics clearer. In this case, the big issue is that MPs do have genuinely different legitimate travel needs depending on where they live. It’s only reasonable for an MP from Scotland to have much higher travel expenses than one who lives in London, for example.

Putting the sums on a map helps show the patterns which are reasonable. And it also highlights those which are a bit more surprising, such as the previously mentioned Margaret Moran, Labour MP …

Posted in Parliament | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment

What is it about London Conservatives and expenses?

London Conservative Assembly Member Brian Coleman’s huge expense claims are nearing the stuff of legend, hiss free travel card notwithstanding.* Even when the figures last year showed he had cut his taxi claims by a fifth, they still came in at over £8,000 in a year, compared with £685 on average for other London Assembly members.**

However, he is by no means alone when it comes to expense bills that, shall we say, don’t exactly leave the impression of someone taking care over taxpayers’ money.

Boris Johnson has a bit of form when it comes to

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