Commons flame war

I draw your attention to Early Day Motion no 1037, lodged yesterday by Peter Kilfoyle MP and signed by more than 50 MP colleagues: at the current count, 51 Labour and 1 LibDem (Lembit, before you ask).

That this House deplores the innuendo of the blog of Nick Robinson, the BBC’s lobby correspondent; calls upon him to substantiate the imputations he makes in his blog concerning the Speaker and hon. Members; and also calls upon the BBC to publish a full, itemised account of the expenses of Mr Robinson, in the name of transparency and accountability of public funds.

This follows Kilfoyle’s submission of a comment on the offending post on Nick Robinson’s blog, barely an hour after it was posted. Nick reflects on the kerfuffle here. Personally, I don’t see why Kilfoyle’s getting so worked up: if someone said I was crap at my job, I’d probably be less inclined to be nice to them. Still, I guess it’s all an interesting step forward.
Incidentally, Mr K: be careful what you wish for. BBC Radio Ulster presenter Conor Bradford was interviewing the DUP’s Gregory Campbell MP on precisely this subject. As the Belfast Telegraph reports:

During (the) debate on air, Mr Campbell had been jibing him about BBC secrecy policy on presenter pay when Mr Bradford defended his position. “Look, I earn £29,000 a year for my Good Morning Ulster contract,” he said. “That is not hidden, that is open for everyone to see. That is my salary. Have you got any problems with that?”

Mr Campbell, the article also notes, ‘rents his constituency office from his wife and employs her in a secretarial role.’

3 thoughts on “Commons flame war”

  1. I heard the Good Morning Ulster interview live while driving into work that morning. Conor Bradford sounded sooo frustrated every time he asked a question and Gregory Campbell kept turning it back on the BBC. Despite Conor’s outburst (and openness), it really didn’t help the interview bring further clarity to the ethics of the MP/MLA’s rental arrangements.

  2. If anyone’s interested, you can hear the BBC Radio Ulster interview on iPlayer for the next couple of days… click here and fast-forward to 1h45 or thereabouts. It does get quite tasty.

  3. Quick update on the EDM count: 75 signatures, of which 1 Tory (Nigel Evans) and 3 LibDems.

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