Torygraph Launches Scathing Attack On Commons Standards Commissioner After Rifkind/Straw Ruling

Painful though it is to agree with the Torygraph, the paper is absolutely right to go for Kathryn Hudson’s jugular in its editorial about her ruling on the Rifkind/Straw cases.

It seems that, rather than investigating MPs and uncovering wrongdoing, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards is more interested in defending them against any investigation or criticism.

Where the Telegraph editorial questions whether she is fit to hold her post, This Writer would question whether that post should be dissolved altogether and potential wrongdoing by MPs referred to the police – preferably to be investigated by a force not directly connected to the Member in question or Parliament itself.

In her ruling, Kathryn Hudson, criticised the journalists who broke the story, commenting: “The distorted coverage of the actions and words of the Members concerned has itself been the main cause of the damage.

“If in their coverage of this story, the reporters for Dispatches and the Daily Telegraph had accurately reported what was said by the two Members in their interviews, and measured their words against the rules of the House, it would have been possible to avoid the damage that has been done to the lives of two individuals.”

But the Telegraph retorted with its own scathing editorial this week, saying the “sorry tale” of both ex-MPs proved “beyond doubt” that those in the Commons could not be trusted to regulate themselves over lobbying.

“Ms Hudson’s credulity towards MPs raises questions about whether she is fit to hold her post,” leader writers wrote, “yet her performance is laudable in comparison with the egregious work of the Standards Committee.

“Far from accepting any error by Sir Malcolm or Mr Straw, or any flaw in the rules they so nimbly stepped around, the committee suggests that the failing here lies with the public for not properly “understanding” the role of MPs.

It continued, saying: “That is bad enough. Worse are the committee’s words on the press. It is only because of investigative journalism that the conduct of Sir Malcolm and Mr Straw became known to the voters they were supposed to serve.

“Yet the committee’s report amounts to a warning to journalists not to carry out such investigations in future, promising to ‘consider further the role of the press in furthering…understanding and detecting wrongdoing’.”

Source: Daily Telegraph Launches Scathing Attack On Commons Standard Commissioner After Rifkind/Straw Ruling


  1. AndyH September 19, 2015 at 3:12 pm - Reply

    It’s odd how they call it ‘lobbying’ when anyone else would call it ‘bribery’. Self-regulation is ridiculous.

  2. daijohn September 19, 2015 at 5:51 pm - Reply

    It’s as plain as a pike staff what they were willing to get up to. The fact that they didn’t go through with it was probably because they were not given the chance, and that means they didn’t break the rules. People can be killed by drones these days for contemplating something!

    • Mike Sivier September 20, 2015 at 1:18 am - Reply

      Exactly the point I made in my previous article about Rifkind and Straw – they didn’t go through with it so, to Ms Hudson, the press had made it all up. Nonsense. They would have gone ahead if they’d had the chance.

  3. dez chandler September 19, 2015 at 7:15 pm - Reply

    What can one say about such a corrupt stupid decision and to then add that is was all the fault of the press and the public not understanding how they “work” is beyond comprehension of just how stupid they think the real world is. They were caught bang to rights and deserve that their lack of integrity was bought to light and potential greed streaks were made known……peddling, meddling lobbyist and their inside mates are the poison of politics. Ms Hudson is certainly not fit for purpose and should resign after such a bent decision that just served her own kind …. not the standards the public
    expect and should get

  4. NMac September 20, 2015 at 8:02 am - Reply

    Personally, as soon as they said the Parliamentary Commissioner was looking into it, I was certain it would end in some sort of whitewash. These people need to be investigated by the Police, its as simple as that.

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