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Communications disease Ealing and Northfield

Local MPs “communicating”

I have seen various reports lately complaining about Labour MPs using their £10K a year Communications Allowance to promote themselves. As I reported on Tuesday Andrew Slaughter doesn’t like the Conservatives spending their own money to win your vote but he is quite happy to spend your money doing the same thing. According theyworkforyou.com he spent almost all of his £10K last year, £9,899 leaving £101 unspent.

Ian Gibb, the Conservative candidate for Ealing North, has been unimpressed with Stephen Pound’s latest missive, paid for by you, which talks about how good he has been with expenses but fails to admit that last year he spent £9,854 leaving £146 unspent.

This week Iain Dale also has stories of a Labour minister and an ex-Labour minister using the Communications Allowance to campaign against their own government’s health policy.

When this matter was voted on by Parliament all but two Conservative MPs voted against it. Those two have since left the party. The Conservatives are committed to doing away with the Communications Allowance.

4 replies on “Local MPs “communicating””

Don’t forget that shadow chancellor George Osborne (effectively the Tory #2) also claimed £9,965 much higher than that of Steve Pound or that of Andy Slaughter. See http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/george_osborne/tatton

Your party leader also claimed about £2.5k. See http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/david_cameron/witney

Other top tories:
Theresa May: £10,123
Michael Grove: 15,705

So tell me Phil, whilst the ‘Conservatives are committed to doing away with the Communications allowance’, it is clear that they don’t mind claiming it whilst it still exists along with their Labour counterparts.

I don’t think the Conservative Party can take the moral high ground here in Ealing on the subject of spending our money to trumpet its successes in Ealing. Ealing Council’s web site does this trumpeting every day; huge posters on the exterior walls of Perceval House do this every second; and ‘Around Ealing’ does this every month.

Jamie,

On a point of detail I don’t think I would describe a difference in claims of £66 or £111 as “much higher”. You exaggerate.

I myself am a little disappointed that Conservative MPs have claimed this money too but they would quite rightly point out that they should not be expected to put themselves at a disadvantage to their opponents. They voted against the proposal and the party policy is to do away with the allowance. Levelling the playing field down would be fair.

On the whole I tend to comment on local issues so it is natural for me to examine local MPs. The Bailey/Slaughter story makes Slaughter look like a bad loser before he has lost. Pound looks like a hypocrite using controversial Parliamentary expenses to brag that he is clean on expenses.

I did myself check out a few Tories when I was researching my story. I too noted Gove’s £15,705 and wondered if this is correct as the allowance is only £10K maximum.

If I have time I will try to tally it all up.

Eric,

There is an appropriate level of communication. It must not be party political.

The council will always have a website. You often complain about its inadequacy. It is based on some old open source software and is in sore need of an upgrade. Perhaps we shouldn’t do it?

The posters on Perceval House are incredibly cheap and it seems like a good use of public resources to use this free display space.

Your comments about Around Ealing ignore your fellow residents’ expressed wishes. You can see the latest published Ealing Residents Survey here. We asked 3,030 people for their opinion.

When asked where they got their local information from 47% said Around Ealing and 31% from leaflets delivered to your home. The Gazette came in at 13%.

When asked how would you prefer to receive information the numbers were 46%, 31% and 10%.

Around Ealing is not perfect but it is the best tool we have for keeping people up to-date. You are badly off the mark with this one.

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