Select Committee Chairman are dropping like flies. First James Arbuthnot quit Defence, and now Stephen Dorrell is standing down as chief Health Department overseer. Both of these MPs are quitting parliament after the election in 2015, so why would they not want to keep the coveted posts, as well as the extra pay, for their last year in the Commons? Nothing to do, Guido is sure, with the fact that anti-corruption Cabinet Office rules state that politicians have to spend a year ‘cooling off’ before they a can go to work in the lucrative private sector in an area they have acquired expert knowledge in through their position in public office. Any six-figure consultancy contracts and directorships they take up after the election would more than compensate them for their temporary short-term loss this year. A coincidence, no doubt.
The latest runners and riders to replace Dorrell include NHS reformer Charlotte Leslie, her close friend Dr Philip Lee, Speaker’s pet Dr Sarah Wollaston and homoeopath David Tredinnick. There is also a rumour doing the rounds that Spelman is interested.