Saturday 6 June 2009

Was it The Telegraph wot shuffled it?

Amidst the leadership drama, it was surprising that so little was made of the impact of the expenses crisis on the reshuffle, though the snippets of news of the departures of Geoff Hoon, Tony McNulty and others offered a clear pattern. Michael White makes the link and reports that Peter Oborne also made this point on the Week in Westminster.

If it was The Telegraph wot shuffled it, today's newspaper has only these three short paragraphs at the foot of a news report

Virtually all of the ministers who have left had faced questions over their expenses following disclosures in The Daily Telegraph.

Hazel Blears, Mr Hoon and James Purnell did not pay capital gains tax on the sale of London flats. Jacqui Smith claimed her "main home" was a bedroom in her sister's house allowing her to claim expenses on the family home in Redditch. Tony McNulty claimed for a property where his parents lived.

Miss Flint claimed thousands of pounds in stamp duty despite being housing minister. Of those facing major questions over their expenses, only Mr Darling, the Chancellor, survived.

Saying 'we get it' with the reshuffle was the first point in my suggested PM survival plan last Wednesday morning.

One irony is that Downing Street can not make much of this - because it can ill afford to offend or impugn any of those who have returned to the backbenches.

1 comment:

Newmania said...

...oh and Gordon Brown of course who also has questions to answer