Instead, she took it upon herself to attack Mr Bercow’s ruling.
Responding to Mr Bercow, Ms Malhotra said: “Members of Parliament should always have knowledge of who has access to their office. This series of events has shown that not to be the case.
“I am sure you will agree that the shock of discovering firstly that access had been granted to someone without our knowledge and secondly that our office had been entered without our knowledge – whether or not in good faith – was deeply upsetting for my staff.”
Of course, it isn’t actually her office any more. Seema Malhotra quit as Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury on June 26 but has been hanging on to the office ever since.
There are claims that she is to swap with new Shadow Chief Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey, but Ms Long-Bailey isn’t ready yet – but that doesn’t change the fact that she really doesn’t have any right to an office on the Leader of the Opposition’s floor, any more.
It’s for Jeremy Corbyn’s team – a team on which Ms Malhotra no longer plays.
The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP, has just ruled that Seema Malhotra’s claim that aides of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell “broke into” her office are, essentially, nonsense.
It would appear the Bercow was having none of Malhotra’s rather flaccid accusations. In a statement he said: “Having taken advice, I am satisfied that there is nothing in your letter or in the information subsequently elicited by the deputy Serjeant at Arms which would justify regarding these events as a possible breach.”
So, Malhotra has essentially put both her staff and McDonnell’s through the wholly unpleasant experience of being thrust into the public eye (albeit anonymously) for absolutely no good reason. Her claims of illegality now stand dead in the water, and will only add weight to Corbyn supporters cries of an intentional smear campaign.
Responding to Bercow’s decision, [John] McDonnell said: “It’s only right and fair that Seema apologises for the stress she has caused to my staff over the last few days. As I said on the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday the Labour Party needs to unite and actions like this which are only being used to try to undermine Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership must stop.”
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