Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Family news

From today MPs are being given the chance to declare whether they employ any members of their family at taxpayers' expense.

Shadow Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan is one of those who will be contacting her party's chief whip to register employment of her husband, Jack Leeming.

Newspapers will doubtless point out that Mr Leeming is 80 years old but having been branded "ageist" for enquiring about his employment I won't mention his age.

Ms Gillan argues that he does far more hours than he is contracted to work and his performance is reviewed regularly.

Registration of employed relatives will be compulsory from the autumn, but is currently voluntary.

The news bulletins will be otherwise undisturbed by today's briefing from the Welsh Tories at Westminster.

Attempts to elicit Ms Gillan's views on controversial topics, from First Great Western trains to a Conservative review of devolution, yielded few results.

Indeed, the Shadow Welsh Secretary says she may not even make a submission to her own party's review of devolution in Wales.

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