The grassroots of all the main parties are pretty outraged with their parliamentary representatives. ConservativeHome polled readers who overwhelmingly wanted troughing Tories punished and deselected. LibDem activists lobbied their Federal Executive over Chris Rennard’s dishonesty. Labour activists including prospective candidates and elected councillors have written to the party’s governing NEC to change the rules to allow troughing MPs to be deselected more easily.
Clegg has been lucky in that none of his MPs have so far been accused of flipping properties. The difference between the reactions of the party leaders is clear. When Cameron became aware that Andrew MacKay was on the fiddle, he immediately dispensed with his senior adviser before the sun rose. Cameron went further yesterday and told Conservatives to sack their local Tory MP if they had their snoughts in the trough. Guido will stick his neck out and say that by contrast Gordon will do whatever he can to hold onto Nick Brown, his troughing chief whip, come what may. No wonder over 100 Labour activists have described the prime minister as “negligent” in his response so far to the unfolding revelations about the allowance system.
The Labour Party whips office has been revealed to be corrupt through and through, yet it is supposed to police the PLP’s behaviour. Labour’s chief whip Nick Brown has claimed tens of thousands of pounds without producing a receipt. Gordon Brown sits in cabinet with James Purnell, Hazel Blears, Jacqui Smith and Geoff Hoon. Each of them has defrauded the taxpayer and milked the system to an extraordinary degree. As long as they sit around the table he presides over a cabinet of crooks.