In the 1990s it was usually sex which got MPs into trouble. Now it’s money.
This time it’s a Tory. Derek Conway has been rebuked by the Commons standards and privileges committee for paying his 19-year old son – who was at Newcastle University at the time – a research salary.
The committee has found a lack of evidence as to what work may or may not have been done by young Frederick Conway.
Last time the committee’s members gave an MP a similar kicking it was George Galloway last summer.
Conway is now facing a Commons vote over whether he should be suspended for 10 days and have to repay some of the £45,000 which his son received.
This comes at an interesting time for two reasons. Firstly, MPs are about to get more money to pay for their staff; up from the equivalent of 3 people to 3.5. The change was one reason why the Commons showed wage restraint during a pay debate last week.
Secondly, the information commissioner is fighting a running battle to get a breakdown of several MPs’ expense details after several decisions by the House to turn down freedom of information requests.
For the FT’s news story and a further link to the report go to this address.