Thursday, May 28, 2009

Third MP Calls it Quits

Paul Waugh has twittered that yet another Tory MP has announced he will stand down. Christopher Fraser, MP for South West Norfolk (Gillian Shephard's old seat) has had some adverse publicity in the EDP about the fact that he had a house in Poole which was classed as his first home. I don't know any more details.

So that's 3 MPs standing down today. Is that a record in one day?

UPDATE: Christopher Fraser has released a statement which explains that he is standing down to look after his wife, who is suffering from ill health.

61 comments:

Anonymous said...

No its not a record. All the Unionist MPs in 1985 resigned when Thatcher betrayed Northern Ireland to impose the Anglo-Irish Agreement.

Anonymous said...

If they stand down before they get sacked then they get the big pay-off to ease the poor darlings back to the real world. Its just more troughing.

Simon Gardner said...

By all rights these MPs should actually stand down - which they aren’t.

Some by-elections would increase the jollity of the nation.

[Margaret Moran was a dead woman walking. I can’t understand why she thought she might survive.]

Anonymous said...

646 stepping down would be a step in the right direction!

Anonymous said...

Will you be defending him blindly as well iain?

Stepney said...

South West Norfolk eh? You'll be packing your overnight bag and popping up to see the constituency chairman then Iain?

Inamicus said...

Admit it Iain, this is an opportunity that appeals to you

Anonymous said...

nice constituency for you Iain, a few days ago I would have wished you luck, but now I'm not so sure. Do you honestly believe the taxpayer should finance an MP's extension or is there more going on behind the scenes that we don't know about? Go on, you can tell us, we'll keep it under our hats.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Those in the Green seats, rattle your jewelery. Those in the visitors gallery, wave your P45s.

Tonight, there are men and women living lives of quiet desperation. Those who have recently lost their jobs, those whose bills have mounted up and those who have loaded their credit cards. There are those who are getting phone calls at work from debt collection agencies and those who see their life savings whittled away to nothing. There are those who have struggled all their lives and worked hard, and done it the honest way. There are millions like this.

These people have a right to be angry. They have been given so many condescending homilies, so many earnest assertions that the Government is working on their behalf, and now it has been revealed as an outright lie.

Angry? There isn't a word that covers it.

The only revolution that can take place in this country is at the ballot box on June 4th. We shall not see politicians swinging from lamposts, but the spectacle of the troughers being kicked in the marginals will be a sight to savour forever. Omly the chattering classes think otherwise, and that is because they have no idea what the real world is about.

Half The Story said...

Nice to trouser another 100k before you get sacked by the electorate or from your party.

Perhaps if they all starte dto go now Brown mihgt be forced in calling an election,

Peter Andre said...

Hey Iain baby.

Us fans of your blog are your brothers and sisters man.

Why wont you tell us if you intend to put yourself forward to parliament?

Will you take part in any primaries.

Hey dude, tell your brothers and sisters

justoneglass said...

Look on the bright side Iain, it might be 3 ministers one day soon!

Anonymous said...

None will stand down?
So whats the point.

John said...

Like several of you on here, I have put my name forward to CCHQ.

Has anyone had any response, (not current approved candidates...but new ones).

Iain, when can we expect to hear next steps? What is happening behind the scenes.

DMC said...

This isnt a record of number of Mps stepping down but interms of MPs brought down by scandal it is a record.

Also i was watching Harriet Harman on the BBC, she wouldnt answer how Labour MEPs voted on publishing expenses and she wouldnt rule out UKIP pushing Labour into 4th place in the upcoming elections.

Jordan said...

Peter Andrew....get your ass back to my bed now.

Dont worry about Iain Dales standing for Parliament, I need you.

Simon The Bluesman said...

Alistair Darling, Geoff Hoon,
James Purnell, Hazel Blears . . . someone please start a petition get these MPs to stand down.

DMC said...

Also Kudos to the Blog the BBC didnt break this story until 5.25pm.

Anonymous said...

Spend more time with the family?

Oldrightie said...

An unseemly but timely exit. Do they get the huge pay off if they quit now?

Scary Biscuits said...

These MPs can't even be honest when they're resigning for dishonesty. Do they really think people believe them when they say they resigning to spend more time with their family?

Anon 4.56: 'Thatcher' (as you like to call her) lost the backbone of Conservative support in Scotland when she upset the unionists there and to this day the Conservative party is paying the price for that. You may not agree with her decision (and nor do I) but you can't fault her for going with her convictions even when it harms her own party.

I think 'betrayed' is a bit rich. The unionist claim loyalty to the Queen. That usually means you support her, not the other way around. Mrs T was their best chance of getting some favourable agreement to solve the troubles. Instead they betrayed her and ended up with John Major and Tony Blair imposing a far worse 'solution' on them.

Anonymous said...

What about Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper ? - they both claim a second home allowance. Why aren't the media putting pressure on them to stand down.

Big Dave said...

I am worried that all of this troughing will become a Tory scandal rather than an all party scandal for two reasons.

1.) McBroon will smug his way out of this with careful references to parliament being a "gentlemen's club" (i.e. Tories did this to parliament, not us). He is doing this now, and the media like stories about duckponds more than Labour-style ££££ house flips and tax avoidance)

2.) This allows people like Straw and Purnell to hide in the long grass until The Telegraph runs out of stories. Dave is being decisive, and kicking expenses abusers out, while Brown is using his time-honoured "committee" cop-out.

If Dave is not careful, this scandal will become purely associated with Tory Grandees in the public's eyes. If The Telegraph is genuinely aiming it's fire at all parties, it needs to give us more Labour filth.

Anonymous said...

These MPs should be taken out and shot, not be allowed to resign and be handed £105,000 plus a golden pension care of the taxpayer they've defrauded.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that the more MPs they throw to the sharks, the more blood is spilt, which just draws more sharks...

Throwing the MPs in the water may buy some short-term popularity but how will this vicious spiral end ?

Anonymous said...

Simon the Bluesman - with especial focus on Geoff Hoon...

Anonymous said...

Go on... Defend this Sleezebag!

jonnyargles said...

Off-topic, I know, but is there any truth to Margaret Beckett's claim that:

"Grace and favour homes are not rent free, we are taxed on them as a benefit in kind."

If so, do you know what the pecuniary advantage is classed as?

trevorsden said...

"Thatcher betrayed Northern Ireland to impose the Anglo-Irish Agreement." -- Oh really? then what di Ian Paisley do when he shook Gerry Adams' hand then ??

What is this - Bigots Corner?

Judging from some of the comments its Compost Corner.
MPs get a severence allowance. And why not.
No one knows when an election is and so no one can plan for a job change and an MP, a perfectly serviceable non expenses scam Labour MP, may well be ditched at the next election, caught by universal swing and nothing to do with, possibly in spite of, his abilities.

Meantime we have Cabinet Ministers taking our money to pay their accountants bill and as long as they are still in a job and being soft peddled by the BBC I am not going out of my way to stick it to any Tory.

Jabba the Cat said...

@ Anonymous said...

"646 stepping down would be a step in the right direction!"

The only problem with that idea is that many of those who should be going would, so to speak, be saved by the bell and stand a chance of re-election because replacements would not be found in time etc.

Best take the remaining statutory time and find as many good replacements as possible.

Jabba the Cat said...

Good post Wrinkled Weasel, sums up the situation on the ground perfectly.

Anonymous said...

Look what did you expect?

We have to put up with summary justice ourselves since this government came to power. On the spot fines for all sorts of things, speed cameras, congestion zones etc, we get these things upon us every day. They make it as difficult as possible to appeal these things.

Enforced unfettered immigration taking over our country and our culture but you mustn't say any thing for fear of being labelled a racist.

You reap what you sew, politicians get what they deserve. They really do deserve everything they are going to get and it can't come too soon. I'm fed up to the back teeth being told what I can and can't do, but little did I know that these rules are only for the little people and not the ruling elite classes.

Will any of them pay the money back or be arrested or prosecuted as we all would? Those standing down of course will benefit from huge parachute payments, no wonder they dont want to go now.
Heads you lose tails they win.
Then there's the corrupt MEPs expenses. And you wonder why people are so fuckin angry. They have every right to be. They all knew what they were doing, thats why they spent 4 years trying to prevent disclosure.

Who would believe the chancellor who levies stamp duty, gets it paid for himself by HofC expenses and flips his main homes several times to avoid CGT? You thinks that's ok then do you?

This thing is big and it's not going away. Now for the really big fish to go!!

Anonymous said...

kirkbride was mugged - by the media, and by that petition. There has been nothing like that in any labour mp's constituency.

I don't like th idea of troughing mp's, however, mob rule is ten times worse.

Simon Gardner said...

I recall posting here a month or so back that Jackie Ashley was predicting resignations - albeit they are happening a couple of months earlier than usual.

How dare you appear on C4 News!

Mirtha Tidville said...

Anon @5.48pm

Why nothing on both Balls?..simple their biggy buddy is the Labour loving editor (or what passes for it) of the Telegraph....

Hell freezing over first and all that......

Anonymous said...

No MP has stood down today, in fact no MP has stood down since this whole sorry expenses saga began.

Everyone of them is going to carry on drawing a full salary plus expenses right up to the next election. Everyone of them is going to get paid a tax free lump sum to enable them to settle into "normal" life. Everyone of them is going to draw a final salary pension for the rest of their natural life starting the morning after the election regardless of their age.

Every other public servant caught stealing from the public purse or bringing the service into disrepute faces instant dismissal, loss of terminal grant and loss of pension, the armed services also face detention quarters (prison) and heavy fines on top of this.

Why are MPs exempt, why are they allowed to carry on with their term of contract as if nothing had happened?

trevorsden said...

@Big Dave - I agree - A correspondent on Guido ('another ex') makes the following points.

"If one examines Kirkbride’s “crimes”, they are very much on a par with large numbers of other MPs of all parties.
Her naivety was to extend a property with an increased mortgage rather than just cash in and buy a bigger one (capital gains tax and stamp duty free of course) when she needed more bedrooms.
After all, why did the Cooper-Balls duo move to Stoke Newington from their previous home? Why did Francis Maude need to move his London home?
Indeed, the blessed peacemaker A.C.L Blair, remortgaged his consituency home - not to extend accommodation there- but to finance additional properties including one for his student son.
Does Peter Hain’s old mum who is a whizz on e-mail and masterminds his Christmas cards, live in his constituency?"

Blair of course has had his records shredded.

In the crap Panorama programme the other night Hain even had the nerve to reinvent himself and say he had been cleared!

(How much does wotsit get paid for wearing a coloured jumper and spending 45 seconds a week bookending Panorama?)

Bottom line is is dangerous to rely on mob law mob rule. A host of socialist fraudsters are getting away scot free because the media are pathologically incapable of coherent thought. Just get a headline get a bye line get a scalp get a name for yourself and no doubt do it on BBC expenses as well

Anonymous said...

Dave started off well but he has dithered too much of late. He should have closed down the last bunch of Tory troughers by giving them their marching orders and leaving the press with only Labour MPs to feed on.

Dave made the same mistake with Spelman and now Kirkbride. Is he frit of women or indecisive around women or something?

It was a massive error of judgement by Dave to pass the "do I go or do I stay" buck onto an MP's constituents. Other than disatisfied Tory voters is he so naive not to expect malcontents and activists from other parties to turn up at the meeting?

VotR said...

I'll have to remember that one for when I want to resign by ducking and diving out of a witch hunt.

Hounds at the ready, eh? ;)

Anonymous said...

Next it will be David Cameron stepping down to spend more time with his accountant, buffing up on the number of houses he owns...

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, doesn't Nadine also have a house a long way from her constituency or Westminster which is classed as her first home?

ranger1640 said...

Kirkbride is a classic example of MP's just not getting it.

When the MP’s expenses crisis first broke in the Telegraph Cameron was quick to come out and make pronouncements on ridding parliament of dodgy MP’s and giving confidence back to the people and electorate. However I don’t think he has really grasped the gravitas of the situation.

He has not removed the whip form 1 MP, he has meekly accepted their standing down at the next election. This is not real leadership it is consensus decision making, which may be well in a chat between friends but it is not the decisive decision making that is needed from a Prime Minister in waiting.

Cameron is showing all the leadership qualities of Gordon Brown.

If Cameron thinks he is in touch with the public mood as he has suggested in recent speeches, I’m afraid he needs to reengage with the mood of the nation, because he seems desperately out of touch and is looking as if he is dithering.

He needs to grasp the MP situation decisively and start sacking MP’s. He then needs to bring real reform proposals to the electorate and ensure the electorate are given the opportunity to give their views and those views listened to, anything else will not be accepted by the electorate.

Why has more pressure not been put on Darling, Hoon, Parnell and the rest of the Labour apparatchiks?

ranger1640 said...

If an MP stands down at the next election and they have completed 12 years as an MP will they be awarded their full pension?

However if they were to go now would they get that full pension?

Andrew said...

Has anyone noticed that the Telegraph is not letting anyone put comments on its articles concerning expenses? I am sure this is not because they fear the Barclay brothers and Telegraph journalists being called 'hypocrites'.

Norfolk Blogger said...

The invisible man of Norfolk Politics. He really won't be missed because nobody had ever heard of him in the first place.

I hope his wifes health improves though.

microdave said...

Iain, from what I've read I don't think there is any doubt about the Poole house being his main one. That is the problem - constituents claim he is hardly ever in their area!

trevorsden said...

Absolutely blinking amazing!

The guardian ...
"Gordon Brown facing crisis as Labour MPs head for the lifeboats
52 Labour MPs apply to sit in House of Lords"

So thats THEIR reward for expenses scams!

Maybe we should return to normal politics and go over to CoffeeHouse and see how Labour plan to turn their massive reductions in expenditure (as per their budget) into 'Tory Cuts'.

I am fed up with my hair shirt.

DespairingLiberal said...

Tomorrow it will be Bill Cash under fire.

Although in some ways I admire the tenacity of the old fellow, it's really really sick making when you think of all his endless lectures about Euro-corruption. What a fantastically complete and utter hypocrite.

Dic Dyffryn said...

That was a bit of a rough day on the blog, wasn't it? Good thing it's all virtual, otherwise you'd be sporting quite a lot of real bruises.

Speaking as I do from deepest Wales, I see a few lights twinkling down in the valley; all is well, and all is peaceful. Meanwhile in England, it seems, Tory and Labour MPs are dangling from lamp posts across the land, there are barricades in Whitehall and the mob is in revolt.

Around here you are more likely to meet a wildebeest grazing the hillsides than to encounter a Tory, and Labour supporters are slightly more endangered than pandas.

It may be a coincidence, but in some recent survey we emerged as the happiest people in the UK, but blessed as we are with Plaid and the LibDems, I do feel we are missing out by not being able to go and harangue Labour or Tory MP. Ours are just so boringly diligent and honest.

Never mind, Iain. Have a hot bath and take time to reflect. Nos da!

trevorsden said...

Labours Nigel Griffiths £3.6k claim for a flat screen TV 9and his excuses) are indeed both pathetic and risible - but in the end it was not accepted.

His other claims may be excessive too. i think he should pay some back and not be hounded out of office. But thats up to Brown and the Labour party and his electorate.

Just to point out again that the headline is somewhat misleading.

Its probably easier for Cameron to sack his allies than his troublemakers - so Bill Cash may get away with his strange arrangements.

Its funny innit how the public are getting so worked up,over flat screen TVs? Its not as if you cannot get some moderate priced ones. And MPs chave like tendencies are a bit of a surprise as well.

Thatsnews said...

o/t but I think it is important
Joanna Lumley’s ‘Forgotten’ British Gurkhas still have to live in Squalor

David Hughes said...

Apparently 52 Labour M.P.'s have asked to leave the Commons for a seat in the Lords - that's one way of trying to bail out ....... and keep the gravy train rolling. Over £300 per day attendance plus an overnight allowance !
Two words of warning to these fine, upstanding people ....... Baroness Uddin. Are you sure that's the way to go ?

Anonymous said...

TO SIMON THE BLUESMAN 5.34P.M. "PURNELL,DARLING, HOON,BLEARS,....THEY SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO STAND DOWN ...SACK THEM...AND HAVE BY ELECTIONS....AND THIS GOES FOR ALL OF THE BLIGHTERS THAT HAVE STOOD DOWN,MICHAEL

Dimoto said...

Andrew said : "Has anyone noticed that the Telegraph is not letting anyone put comments on its articles concerning expenses? I am sure this is not because they fear the Barclay brothers and Telegraph journalists being called 'hypocrites'".

Quite so. Just now Tim Walker (Mandrake) said on the BBC that the Telegraph was being "scrupulously fair" - why did he need to say that ?
And of course, he doesn't accept comments either, strange coincidence.
The Telegraph has been nobbled by Campbell !

ukipwebmaster said...

The biter bit!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4lmuLI81SU

Chris Paul said...

The man planted a veritable forest of trees on the taxpayer did he not? Seems to have some kind of control over BBC TV - injunction? - who are simply not mentioning him in most reports of, ahem, relinquishments.

Chris Paul said...

PS The BBC did "break" it before 5:25 or whatever, but then rowed back a bit. Kirkbride went over the missing "main home". The rest of it might have been surviveable without that obvious contrivance. And little Angus did not make her do that.

Grumpy Old Sod said...

'Standing down' until the next general election so that they can continue to trough away and get all the benefits for up to another year or so.

In the real world that would have been summarily dismissed for gross misconduct and apart from whatever they had sitting in their pension pots at the time, the money supply would have been stopped dead.

I found yesterday's exchange of letters between Kirkbride and Cameron particularly sickening. She was on the fiddle big time and he sat back and waited for the inevitable, probably in the hope that it wouldn't. He's not much better than Brown who, as usual, does nothing.

Scallywag said...

Anonymous said... "What about Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper ? - they both claim a second home allowance. Why aren't the media putting pressure on them to stand down?"

It's either because Blinky has a good pal high up in the DT or the denouement is being saved for the Full Colour Souvenir Edition featuring the ultimate troughing couple who live under the full protection of the dead man walking pretending to be running the country.

They will last no longer than him and he's toast now.

Anonymous said...

Bill Cash MP is quite the trougher. Cameron should remove the whip ASAP....

Matthew Dear said...

I lived in that constituency for the first 18 years of my life. Happy Days.