Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Golden Goodbyes

After months of gruelling email exchanges with the Commons Authorities, and having to get the information commissioner involved, the data I requested on MPs' resettlement grants was finally released to me last Friday.

I’d originally put in a request to find out which MPs had taken grants because I wanted to know whether Patricia Hewitt had.

Hewitt had held several high paid jobs in the private sector even while she was an MP, and she had no need of a £50,000 grant to help her "readjust" when she left Parliament.

The Commons typically refused for weeks but eventually backed down when I referred the case to the commissioner – hence the Leicester Mercury, Hewitt’s local paper, got the exclusive story.

As well as Hewitt, this was the first time we could confirm that the likes of Geoff Hoon and even the disgraced MP Derek Conway had taken their grants.

The Independent’s High Street Ken reported the story today and gave the Mercury a mention, and then the BBC’s Emma Griffiths put this piece on their website.

The Telegraph's story.

The Mirror's follow up.

The information is now fully available at the House of Commons website here.


Joe Public said...

Thanks for obtaining the info.

I note that my troughing, expenses-fiddling ex-MP also got the Grant.

Andy said...


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