Socialist Worker

Esther McVey is doing okay

Issue No. 2490

Ex-Tory minister Esther McVey

Ex-Tory minister Esther McVey (centre) (Pic: Community Spaces Fund/Flickr)

Esther McVey, the former TV presenter and employment minister, had the bad luck to be one of the few Tory MPs to lose a seat to Labour last year. Fortunately, she is not languishing with nothing to do. She has landed five jobs.

She chairs the British Transport Police Authority, a post requiring

60 days’ work a year for a salary of £32,000.

She advises the Floreat Group, a private investment organisation. She also advises Hume Brophy, a communications firm. She lectures at Liverpool University. She is a fellow of Hull University.

This week, she has been mildly ticked off by the Business Appointments Committee because she did not ask its advice before taking the transport policing job, which as an ex-minister she is supposed to do.

But it says that, had she asked, it would have told her it was OK.

Tory wants to play dirty in Portsmouth

A Tory councillor’s plan to “play dirty” against those who had criticised the way the local authority was run has been exposed.

His intended victims were accidentally copied in to his email chain.

Portsmouth councillor Scott Harris singled out a campaigner against domestic violence and another who had asked questions about the Portsmouth leg of the Americas Cup. He wrote, “The elections are coming... Quite frankly it might be a good idea to play dirty this time.”

He went on to say that he was “compiling some stuff” on Shonagh Dillon who runs Aurora New Dawn, a local charity that supports victims of domestic violence.

“I’ve found some stuff on Jon Woods and the SWP locally which will be useful when the looney left come calling nearer May,” it said.

About 800,000 people will be hit by tax credit cuts from April. George Osborne was forced into a climbdown over tax credits in his autumn statement following a defeat for the proposed measures in the House of Lords.

But the Treasury is proceeding with a cut to the “income-rise disregard”, which could cost affected households £200 to £300 a year on average.

Apparently former Labour MP Simon Danczuk is being investigated by Parliament’s expenses watchdog. He claimed for four children staying with him in London when he barely sees two of them.

Danczuk said, “I welcome the chance to get this matter cleared up.”

So do we.

Just another £400,000 is easy to miss

Tory MP Geoffrey Cox received 11 payments totalling about £400,000 for his work as a barrister, which he failed to declare on the Register of Members' Interest. He was a member of the Standards Committee at the time.

He was so engrossed in setting up chambers in Mauritius and Dubai that he did not get around to counting his money until the end of September when, “to my dismay, I became fully aware of the scale of my oversight".

Who among us has not been in a similar predicament?

Tory MP’s background? Just Google it

When MPs were debating tax avoidance, with particular reference to Google, no one was more understanding than the Tory MP Nigel Huddleston.

He told his colleagues, “We must remember that Google was founded only in 1998, which makes it a teenager, and many other major internet companies are also teenagers.

“Teenagers make mistakes: they need guiding. It is up to us, in the role of a responsible parent, to make sure that we reset the ground rules on behaviour.”

Huddleston was employed by Google until last May.

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