Eleanor Laing: the MPs’ MP

Eleanor Laing is the still the front-runner in Deputy-Speaker election. She has public support from Labour’s side; Kevin Barron has written to Labour colleagues calling on them to support Laing and Chris Bryant is sounding out support for her. If Chris is her campaign manager on the Labour side, his own failure to win election to the Shadow Cabinet doesn’t bode too well. After Laing was exposed for not paying capital gains on the £1 million profit she made when she “flipped” her home in the great 2009 expenses scandal, she told Guido she would stand down in 2010. She obviously didn’t.

As for her supporters; Kevin Barron, chairman of the Standards and Privileges Committee which judges MPs’ ethics, sold his taxpayer funded home for a tax-free £500,000 profit, whilst Chris Bryant flipped his ‘second home’ twice in two years at taxpayers expense.

Quite a flippin’ team.

UPDATE: Eleanor Laing called within seconds of this post going up to deny she ever said to Guido that she would stand down. We both agree where and when we had a conversation, she denies saying anything of the sort. Guido’s recollection is different. She also points out that Sir Thomas Legg’s inquiry did not result in her being ordered to make a repayment – because, we both agree, “it was all within the rules”. We’ll leave it at that…




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Jo Swinson on Chris Rennard…

“Vince — and Tim before him — have repeatedly, publicly said Rennard is not welcome anywhere near their frontbench team, even as an adviser. I remain deeply frustrated that he was not expelled from the party through its disciplinary process. It just feels wrong, and I do not want Lord Rennard to continue as a member of the party. As far as I am concerned, he is not welcome.”

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