Sidmouth MP speaks on leaked Kelly report

PUBLISHED: 11:07 28 October 2009 | UPDATED: 10:51 18 June 2010

A LEAKED report into the MPs expenses scandal, says MPs should no longer be able to employ their spouses.

A LEAKED report into the MPs expenses scandal, says MPs should no longer be able to employ their spouses.

Such a recommendation, by Sir Christopher Kelly in his report, officially due for publication next Wednesday, would directly affect East Devon MP Hugo Swire, whose wife Sasha, a highly qualified journalist, has worked for him since 2001.

Speaking to the Sidmouth Herald today, Mr Swire said: "I don't normally comment on leaks. There are so many rumours and the Legg and Kelly reports.

"I expect, as such, we will take part in a debate if, and when, we get the chance.

"I fundamentally believe MPs should be able to employ whoever they like to do the job, providing they, [including family] are subject to checks to make sure they are doing the work.

"Most of us have contracts with staff and would be in breach of these. MPs don't do a normal job and all their staff are subject to regular checks."

He said he couldn't imagine spouses "manning picket lines" if their Unite union carried out a legal challenge to the recommendation, but added: "It is early days but it has all the hallmarks of a good row. I don't think anything will happen until after the General Election."

* See a full report in Friday's Sidmouth Herald.

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