Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Margaret Moran

I am absolutely bloomin' furious.

The ex-MP for Luton North, Margaret Moran, gave up her seat at the last election. Her reasons for doing so are easy to see: she had a very embarrassing expenses claim for a second home near Southampton (when her constituency is in Luton). She then said she was standing down as an MP, and went on long-term sick leave. There were other accusations about the misuse of House of Commons' stationary. Then, during a sting for Channel 4's Dispatches program, she said she was available for lobbying work immediately, despite not being available to help her constituents. 

Yesterday I listened to the Home Affairs Select Committee interview Assistant Commissioner Yates of the Metropolitan Police about the hacking of voicemail messages. During this, I heard a familiar name mentioned: Margaret Moran. Unbelievably, despite no longer being an MP and disgraced, she was able to ask questions at the committee. Her name is not on the current list of members of the committee.

This is not good enough. She has been disgraced, and is no longer a member of parliament. Why is she on the committee? Allegedly there were also other ex-MPs there: Ann Cryer, Janet Dean and Martin Salter.

If this is the case (and it has proved hard to find who was there, but Margaret Moran was mentioned by name several times), then serious questions need to be asked. I can understand the need for a changeover period after an election, but it has been months; plenty of time to reorganise the committee. But Moran's presence particularly rankles. It makes any inquiry performed by this committee look more like a Labour whitewash.

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