Guido has a lot of time for the Father of the House, Peter Bottomley. He was clear in the debate on Paterson, and he was right. His suggestion in The Times this morning on how to improve Parliament, “pay MPs more“, however, is not right. £81,932 is more than sufficient, and puts you in the top 3% of earners. Voters will not sympathise with Peter when he pleads for more money.
Many Tory MPs complain that it is simply not enough to raise a family, and won’t even cover the school fees. Here’s a thought: don’t go into politics if you want to finance an expensive lifestyle. Make some money first. The modern politico’s ascent of the greasy pole – graduate, become a researcher or a lobbyist, then get a SpAd job or work in the party HQ, then run for Parliament and become a minister in your late twenties / early thirties – means you are unlikely to have made much money at a time when your peers who did not go into politics are starting a family and getting a mortgage. It is a recipe for financial envy.
It also means our political class have little real world experience outside politics. Michael Heseltine had it right when he said people should make their place (and some money) in the real world before going into politics. If you can’t have the lifestyle you want on an MP’s pay, don’t go into politics young…
See also Performance Related Pay for MPs
Father of the House Sir Peter Bottomley tore into Andrea Leadsom’s Standards Procedure amendment during the Commons debate this afternoon, confirming that he won’t be voting for it on the grounds that it would be inappropriate to “change a process […] mid-game”:
“I refer to the debate in 2010, when Jack Straw was the Justice Secretary when Sir George Young, as he then was, contributed for my party, and I contributed as well. We chose the system we’re now using. If we want to consider changing [the system] we should do it in a proper way, I don’t regard this as appropriate now.”
A pretty fair assessment. MPs chose the current rules, and those rules maintain the Standards Committee’s independence. Not a single MP Guido has talked things it is a good idea to do this in these circumstances. It’s not a good look to have MPs arbitrarily decide to interfere with that when it suits them, particularly to favour an individual MP.
Last Friday, Guido was alerted to the impending inaugural meeting of a new parliamentary APPG for “Afrikan Reparations”, to be lead by Bell Ribeiro-Addy and take place via Zoom this morning. The co-conspirator raised their eyebrows at the APPG, knowing that rules state a group must have cross-party support. Which Tory would be brave enough to back this hard-left, woke project?
Guido diligently tuned into the Zoom call and can reveal the Tory enabling the group to be none other than Father of the House Sir Peter Bottomley. Ribeiro-Addy thanked Sir Peter for volunteering and allowing the group to get off the ground. After seconding Ribeiro-Addy’s chairmanship, Sir Peter said he was happy to be put down as an “assistant secretary”, joining vice chairs Caroline Lucas and Marsha de Cordova.
The creation of the APPG followed a lobbying campaign by the group Stop The Maangamizi, who want to “address the legacies of Afrikan Enslavement” and:
“make recommendations to Parliament on how to redress the legacies of African enslavement, colonialism and neocolonialism today.”
The group also wants:
During the APPG’s meeting, Ribeiro-Addy thanked Stop The Maangamizi for “providing a view on what could be done in terms of looking at the various issues over time and presenting some discussions and policy moving forward.”. The Labour MPs attending the call – also among them Zarah Sultana, Dawn Butler and Florence Eshalomi – were hardly surprising. Sir Peter’s involvement, however, has already raised some Tories’ eyebrows…
Father of the House Sir Peter Bottomley gave the BBC both barrels this morning over their failure to accurately introduce Marxist Susan Michie earlier in the programme, who predictably lambasted Dominic Cummings. Appearing on Radio 4’s Broadcasting House programme, Bottomley said:
“If one of your previous contributors has been a member of a far left party for decades, donated more to the Labour Party under Corbyn than I’ve given to the Tory Party in forty years, was the wife of a former Labour Party special adviser and mother of Labour’s head of complaints, that might have been better than just saying she’s a member of SAGE.”
The BBC hit back by calling the information an “ad hominem attack”.
Guido had held out hope after Friday. There is more work to do…