Shadow Transport Secretary’s Undeclared £120,000 Union Adviser

Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald has a few interesting declarations in the Register of Members Financial Interests, in particular a recurring biannual donation of £30,000 from train drivers’ union ASLEF. McDonald has now received £120,000 from strike-happy ASLEF for “secondment of a researcher for my parliamentary office, value £30,000” since 2017. At £60,000 a year, that’s a hell of a lot more than most MPs’ staff

However, on the corresponding Register of Interests of Members’ Staff, only one of McDonald’s four researchers declares an interest – and that an internship funded by the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales. So one of McDonald’s other three researchers is hiding their union allegiance from the public. Because they’ve failed to declare it, the public has no idea which one of the three it is…

Of course one of the three has recently been in the news for all the wrong reasons, McDonald’s adviser Karl Hansen accused Rachel Riley of being a “bully” for calling out anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. Not that ASLEF themselves are likely to mind if Hansen is their man, their President Tosh McDonald was embroiled in a scandal of his own less than two years ago…

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Quote of the Day

Expelled Tory MP, Richard Benyon, on the short three-day Programme Motion for the Withdrawal Agreement Bill:

“Whether you had three days, three weeks or three months debating this, you would not hear one original argument that we hadn’t otherwise heard in this process…”


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