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Jane Merrick

Jane Merrick is the Political Editor of the Independent on Sunday. She has been a political journalist for seven years, previously working at the Press Association and the Daily Mail

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IPSA factor

Posted by Jane Merrick
  • Wednesday, 4 November 2009 at 01:52 pm

After PMQs, a quick statement by the Speaker on the new chairman of what we have to call IPSA, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, who is Professor Sir Ian Kennedy, who I suppose we should refer to as PSIK. Many MPs from all sides stayed to listen Speaker Bercow announce that PSIK will be paid £100,000. Everyone roared with laughter at this new watchdog earning £40k more than them, and even the Speaker allowed himself a giggle, as it must be rather amusing from his point of view to annoy the heck out of MPs.

Then came the statement by Harriet Harman on the Kelly Report into MPs' expenses. The green benches emptied, as if MPs couldn't stomach listening to the reforms announced by Sir Christopher Kelly earlier. This was a shame, because I was hoping for some of the MPs who have been complaining in private at the measues to issue some full-scale whingeing in public.
I sat through the debate, which lasted around 25 minutes. Most of the MPs who spoke talked about how important it was for the reforms to be implemented. Only a couple expressed dissatisfaction with the report, including Peter Bottomley, who warned that the restrictions on second homes would be bad for the children of MPs, who would see their parent less. But that was it. I thought it was rather cowardly, given the scale of oppositon among MPs to Kelly, for no one else to state in public what they are saying in private.


They've brought all this on themselves.
john_b_ellis wrote:
Wednesday, 4 November 2009 at 03:30 pm (UTC)
That's the irony - they hate it, but - unless they're leaving next year, in which case they're probably past caring - they daren't say anything.

I can't sympathize - they had plenty of opportunity to cleanse the abuses themselves, but refused to bite the bullet. If they'd had more balls and integrity, they could have kept control of the processes. But, as it is, they deserve the undoubted unfairnesses of some of the conditions to which they'll now be subjected.
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