Sacked Media Adviser: “I Told You So, Mr Speaker”

bye-speakerJohn Stonborough spun for the Speaker and the House of Commons Commission from 2001 to 2003. He was hired because he understood how to handle a hostile media environment.

On Stonborough’s blog he reflects back on how Michael Martin dealt with critical counsel:

On the July 1, 2003, I had one of my regular private meetings with the Speaker in his study overlooking the river. It was a friendly encounter, just the two of us, and I decided to mention this business of claiming for his second home. I think I had mentioned it once previously. I should not have needed to do this, but few Commons officials had the guts to voice their concerns to him. I did.

The Speaker went puce. He told me to stay where I was and summoned the Clerk of the House, Roger Sands, and made me repeat my “allegation” in front of him. I wrote to the Speaker afterwards saying I thought he had been a bit rough on me. Being an adviser is not a popularity contest. The Speaker never spoke to me again and like others before and after me I was cast out.

The speaker is a proud, stubborn and incompetent obstacle to reform because he has abused the system as badly as the worst parliamentarian.  Time’s up…



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Cameron on Trump:

“I have to say that knowing the gruelling nature of the primaries and what you have to go through, anyone who makes it through that extraordinary contest to lead their party into a general election deserves our respect.”

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