Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Equal opportunities employers

Employing your spouse or child isn't against parliamentary rules - unless they receive taxpayers' money in return for doing nothing, as Derek Conway has discovered.

Employing family members is fairly common among "honourable members" although most would surely employ staff capable of remembering the name of their Dad's constituency secretary. (Something young Freddie Conway was incapable of doing).

Conway took Ted Heath's old seat of Old Bexley and Sidcup but in a previous incarnation was MP for Shrewsbury - and for three years parliamentary private secretary to Wyn Roberts when he was Minister of State at the Welsh Office.

MPs do not have to declare employment of family members in any parliamentary register so it is impossible to discover how widespread the practice is.

It's far easier in Cardiff Bay, where the rules on declaraion appear to be stricter. The last time I checked the register of AMs' interests no fewer than a quarter of Assembly Members did or had employed members of their families.


Anonymous said...

I think we should know about this David, after all we are paying for them. Someone on my blog informs us that Peter Hain employs his mother.
I know Hwyel Francis employs his wife, but at least she is qualified and has a background in research.
How many employ lovers I wonder, ideal place for them isn’t it really? Thinking about a possible book here.
I do suggest may be a standard job description, contract etc; as I am sure few have this in place. Keep it above board and where we can see it.

Miss Wagstaff said...

...employing your husband as your driver is taking it a little too far. I wonder if that's still on the AM's list.

David Cornock said...

Peter Hain's mother has worked for him in the past but given her extraordinary battles against apartheid in South Africa I don't think it would be fair to question her experience for a political role....I'm sure there are better examples out there of unqualified family members paid from the public purse.