Wednesday, April 07, 2010

LibDems Finally Make A Pledge

At last - the LibDem candidate for Norwich South has issued an "honesty pledge" over expenses; I now look forward to his response over the Clean Campaigning Pledge too.

I am gald that the LibDems have finally got around to recognising this issue, although I understand many people are cynical that now we are in an election suddenly the local LibDems seem to care about the expenses issue.

In September 2009 I issued a strong honesty pledge which I have had on my website since them, that I have delivered to every home in the constituency. I stand by that pledge and believe I was ahead of the curve on this issue.

However what concerns me about the LibDem version is that it is massively watered down from what I would like to see.

I have now written to the LibDems with three very specific questions about the use of public money.

Will you accept the Communications Allowance or will you, like me, refuse public money to produce promotional propaganda for you and your party?

Will you, like me, ensure that your parliamentary office is totally separate from your constituency party office to ensure that there are no accusations of using parliamentary expenses to supplement a party cost?

Will you, like me, not employ anybody on a part-time basis alongside party political employment to ensure there are no accusations of using parliamentary salaries to supplement a party wage?

The Conservatives have been right to put the repair of our politics at the heart of this campaign. I am genuinely pleased that the LibDems have done this pledge but hope it can now be part of a wider debate about improving the reputation of politics.

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