Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Saturday, 23 May 2009

+++ My local Bracknell MP Andrew Mackay is standing down+++

I just heard on the Radio 4 news that my local Bracknell MP Andrew Mackay is standing down at the next election.

Frankly, after last night's meeting that I blogged about here it was inevitable. He has claimed that it was after a conversation with David Cameron but the meeting must have been a contributing factor to his decision.

I linked earlier on today to a story posted on Liberal Burblings about the fact that Mr MacKay's wife was challenged about them double claiming second home allowances 3 years ago on a radio show and she hung up on the questioner. I think this could have been the nail in the coffin for his political career as I mentioned earlier. This seems to have been brushed over but if this story is true then it calls into question his entire defence in this scandal that he did not know there was anything wrong. I had been giving him the benefit of the doubt on this up until now and even said that I believed him on this on Iain Dale's phone in show last night.

I would still like to know if he was aware of what his wife seemed to be three years ago.

UPDATE: I had included a section here originally that I am now unsure about so I have removed it. I may post about it later. I know this is bad blogging etiquette but this is an important story that is affecting a real man's career and I think I was a bit hasty and want to think about it some more.


bigajm said...

I can't recall the source quoted at the time and the programme itself probably isn't the most reliable font of reference material, but last night's (22 May 2009) BBC1 "Have I Got News For You" had an audio clip from several years ago of someone asking Julie Kirkbride about the apparent "doubling-up" of ACA between herself and her husband.

Her response was to put the phone down. Or let's give her the benefit of the doubt and say that the phoneline went dead at a most inopportune moment.

This at least suggests that Mr & Mrs Mackay and her interrogator were aware of their anomalous situation several years ago.

Anonymous said...

Its ok Mark. To some extend I do feel bad about Andrew Mackay career but he did do the wrong thing and for a long time. I'm sure he knew it at least a few years ago but did not try (like many MPs) to correct the situation. Its ok to be angry I'm very angry but I do not hate Andrew Mackay. He made a mistake but then carried on making it

Richard T said...

This point about Radio Hereford and Worcester picking up the dual allowances scam a couple of years ago does beg some rather large questions about the quality of the national media in comparison to local radio. My take has been that this particular dodge is rather closer to dishonesty than the failure to declare changed circumstances or the inability of MPs to check what they're actually claiming - Messers Straw and Wiggins for example (if you're as charitable as we all are) - to do what the rest seem perfectly capable of.

Jonathan said...

From what I have just been reading about Mackay and Kirkbride, both should be put on trial for fraud. Standing down as Mackay has done - and presumably Kirkbride will do as well - is simply not sufficient, as indeed it is not for many of the Honourable(?) members caught up in all of this.

Most, like Mackay, irrespective of which party they belong to, still don't accept that what they have been up to is in any sense wrong. They continue to blame the Fees' Office, the system in the House of Commons, the fact that what they have been doing was permitted and "within the rules". In fact, they continue to blame anyone except those who got them into this mess in the first place: themselves.

Then there is the bleat about what all of this is doing to our tradition of parliamentary democracy. Well, those involved should have thought about that before they started stuffing their snouts in the trough.

What many forget, is that if the Daily Telegraph had not begun its expose, much of what we are all now learning, would never have seen the light of day. I am reminded of the famous remark attributed to Elizabeth I when under house-arrest for her alleged involvement in plots against her sister Queen Mary:-

"Much suspected of me, nothing proved can be".

I bet there are many MPs today wishing if only that were true for them!