17 June 2009

Quote of the day

Hard to disagree with the Star Chamber's verdict:
A Labour Party spokesman said: "After considering in detail the case of Jim Devine and speaking to him, the Labour Party's special NEC endorsements panel today unanimously recommended rescinding his endorsement as a Labour candidate.
"He will not be able to stand as a Labour candidate in any constituency at the next General Election.

Yes, well, fine. But is there any reason why he should be permitted to remain an MP for the next 12 months? If the Labour Party is not satisfied that his expenses claims have been above board, then why should he be allowed to limp along as a lame duck MP?

Oh and incidentally, about this star chamber. It has now dealt with 5 cases and - apparently - has no more pending. How does this square with the statements made when it was established? The BBC reported:

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has vowed to take "all the action that is necessary" to discipline Labour MPs who have "misbehaved" over expenses.
A Labour panel has met for the first time to discuss whether MPs under fire over expenses can seek re-election.
Mr Brown insisted he was taking a "strong line" against alleged offenders and his aim was to "make sure that politics is something that is about service to the community and never about people serving themselves".
He said any MPs found to have "misbehaved" by the three-member disciplinary panel, set up by Labour's ruling National Executive Committee, "will be told they can not stand at the next election".

But so far, the panel has only looked at 5 cases (and three of them were pre-decided). Where is the "strong line" on misbehaviour and "all the action that is necessary"?

And the Tory equivalent panel seems to have been no more industrious.

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