Results tagged “MP” from Journal Live - Blog Central

Beware of pressing the wrong button when sending an email... That is the lesson for today after a Labour MP's "desperate" plea for help to keep her seat in Parliament was sent to her main Liberal Democrat challenger.

An email from Durham City MP Roberta Blackman-Woods said she was "really up against it with the Lib Dems" and asked supporters to deliver leaflets with the general election only a "few" weeks away.

But in an embarrassing gaffe, the email was sent to her Lib Dem opponent Carol Woods twice.


Government chief whip and North East Minister Nick Brown is among MPs reeling from the sudden death of Labour colleague Ashok Kumar. Much mention is made of his efforts to keep the Corus steel plant on Teesside open.

The Teesside MP was found dead at home, with police saying it was not suspicious. One suggestion is that he may have had an accident.

Here is what Nick Brown had to say: "The suddenness of Ashok's death has made it even harder for his friends in the North East and at Westminster. He was due in Westminster this morning.

"His friends are talking about his fantastic by-election victory, his many acts of personal kindness, his scientific background and his Parliamentary work on overseas development and the environment.

William Green

Expenses nightmare

By William Green on Oct 17, 09 11:17 AM

What a week. Back from the three-week conference season and straight back into Parliament where the expenses crisis exploded again.

it is a real mess and it was bizarre seeing Parliamentarians lining up to collect their letters on Monday evening. A bit like getting A-Level results, except they have to foot the bill.

MPs are angry about retrospective rules being imposed, including Tyne Bridge MP David Clelland who spoke to The Journal earlier this week. He has also now written to local Labour party members.

August for hacks has been given the name the "silly season" because Parliament is not sitting, so MPs are away - and with that the likelihood of trouble erupting.

It means fantastic stories are floated and one of those is about Lord Mandelson becoming PM. There is no doubt that he is head and shoulders above his colleagues as a political operator.

But those who know doubt whether he would really want to quit the Lords to fight an election to become an MP, which would require a change in the law before he even stood again.

He clearly enjoys his current position. And he is 56. So would he want to return to the Commons for a four or five year term - at which point he would be more than 60 years old?

I also detect signs that Labour's heirarchy increasingly think they are going to lose the election. And would Mandelson want to become leader in these circumstances with all the stuff of nightmares that would entail.

If you are the kingmaker, with massive power without the hassle of having to be elected, why swap?

alan beith2.jpg

The North MP who wants to clear up British politics has charged taxpayers thousands of pounds for cleaning his second home and laundry.

Berwick's Sir Alan Beith has put himself forward to become the new Commons Speaker and MPs will elect the position next week.

And this blog can reveal that the Liberal Democrat MP claimed £7,115 for the cost of cleaning his London home between 2004-05 and 2007-08.

He spent more than £1,700 on cleaning annually, according to details of his expense claims released by the Commons yesterday.

And the senior Lib Dem spent £1,086.30 on laundry over the same period. His annual bills were between £240.50 and £325.80, according to his expense claims.

The documents also show Sir Alan charged a new £349.99 television to taxpayers, along with £775 for kitchen equipment and £4,700.65 for a refurbishment of his kitchen.

He also claimed for a television licence in August and September 2007, but repaid the money as soon as he realised his mistake.

Sir Alan's office expenses also appear to show he paid his own regional party £3,000 a year in support of Parliamentary duties..

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