An investigation into a trip to the MTV Europe awards in Amsterdam in which John Whittingdale took his dominatrix sex-worker girlfriend of the time?
It’s an attempt to say Parliament is doing something about him, without actually doing anything at all.
Hudson will rule that it is either a minor offence or not an offence at all, and we will be asked to accept that his other… indiscretions… are also minor.
It seems highly unlikely that she would describe it as a serious breach and refer the case to Parliament’s standards committee, which would only give him a metaphorical slap on the wrist in any event – as with Maria Miller a few years ago.
But showing confidential cabinet papers to another girlfriend is a serious breach of Parliamentary rules. That isn’t under investigation.
Taking payment-in-kind in return for speaking against restrictions on the opening of lapdancing clubs is also a serious breach of Parliamentary rules (just ask Jack Straw or Malcolm Rifkind). But that isn’t under investigation either.
The sooner the “Independent” Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards is dismissed and her position dissolved – to be replaced by a genuinely independent organisation, capable of handing out its own justice – the better.
Does anybody know how this may be achieved?
The culture secretary, John Whittingdale, has been placed under investigation by the parliamentary commissioner for standards after he did not declare a trip to the MTV Europe awards in Amsterdam in 2013 with his then girlfriend, a dominatrix sex worker.
Kathryn Hudson has launched an investigation, her spokeswoman said on Friday, after Labour MP Neil Coyle complained Whittingdale should have declared the trip because of the cost of the flights, hotel bill and entertainment, which were covered by MTV.
They would need to be declared if they had exceeded 1% of his salary, which is the threshold under parliamentary rules.
The standards commissioner can either choose to rule that the allegation is not made out or resolve it informally in cases of “minor or inadvertent” cases. If she considers it a serious breach she must refer the case to parliament’s standards committee which alone has the power to recommend sanctions.
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