Tories plan ban on Commons jobs for MPs’ children


by Leon
31st January, 2008 at 11:03 am    

In the wake of the Derek Conway affair the Tories are considering banning their MPs from employing their children:

Proposals to ban the children of MPs from being paid out of public funds for working for them are being considered by the Conservatives in the wake of the Derek Conway affair, party sources said last night.
…
The Tories believe his prompt decision to stand down will help draw a line under the matter, after a flurry of damning headlines once again associating the party with “sleaze”. But they are considering extra steps to remove the taint. A Tory source said the leadership would actively look at banning children from being paid from parliamentary allowances. But the leadership believes spouses – such as Conway’s wife, Colette, who is employed as his personal assistant – should be permitted. [Via The Guardian]

It’s a complicated situation, technically there’s nothing wrong with employing family members (how many of us have worked in a family business over the summer holidays?) but it doesn’t look good. It also undermines the Tory claims of meritocracy, shouldn’t it be the best person for the job not the most convenient?

What do you think; are things fine as they are? Do the Tories new ideas go far enough (should they include MPs partners)?


              Post to del.icio.us


Filed in: Current affairs,Party politics






4 Comments below   |  

Reactions: Twitter, blogs


  1. faz — on 31st January, 2008 at 11:21 am  

    I don’t think the tories can claim they have a meritocratic system then their leader went to Eton.

    If you’re interested in finding out more on social mobility and meritocracy download this RR:: “Is Britain a meritocracy – and who has been left behind?”
    http://www.youngfoundation.org.uk/media/press_releases

  2. Demon — on 31st January, 2008 at 9:15 pm  

    You’ve shown some sloppy thinking here with your analogy. Sitting in the House of Commons as an MP does not equate to owning your own ‘family’ business. Instead you occupy a public office, appointed by the electorate and paid for with taxpayers’ money. If you own a business then you can employ whomever you please given that you pay them using your own money. An MP does not own his (or her) position in the Commons he receives it through a popular vote and does not pay his (or her) staff with his (or her) own money.

  3. Leon — on 1st February, 2008 at 11:46 am  

    Correct me if I’m wrong but it isn’t illegal for them to hire family members, so they can in fact hire who they please.

    Do you think this practice should stopped? Should it go further and disallow partners of MPs from being hired?

  4. Sofia — on 1st February, 2008 at 1:59 pm  

    it isn’t illegal, but I would think it’s highly unethical…we talk about south asian politics in terms of nepotism..but it’s alive and kicking here too.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2010. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
With the help of PHP and Wordpress.