Monday, May 31, 2010

Re-emergence of expenses scandal puts Ed Miliband in pole position for Labour leadership

Today we have the Telegraph going for Danny Alexander - it's clear that they will continue to use their treasure-trove of unredacted expense accounts to attack anyone who was in the last parliament.

IMO, this puts Ed Miliband in pole position for Labour leadership because his expenses are so low.

Here's what they were in the last parliament:

2008/9 £7,783
2007/8 £7,670
2006/7 £7,795
2005/6 £7,246

The low claims are due to the fact that his second home is a tiny two-up two-down terrace in his constituency that he rents. He's one of the few MPs who lives in similar surroundings to his constituents. According to the Telegraph the rest of his expenses consisted of utility bills on his second home, a TV licence, council tax and telephone bills. That was it. No cake-tins, no claims for wisteria-trimming, no food, no telly, no furniture, no gardening, no mortgage interest.

He clearly regarded the expenses in the spirit they were intended - as simply a way to enable him to crash in his constituency at the weekends while he did his surgery work. It never seems to have crossed his mind that he could profit from them.

If he's elected leader of the Labour party, he will make a sharp contrast to the two posh boys at No 10. Here's their expenses bills for those who missed them, and note how both Cameron and Clegg claimed close to the maximum they could despite being millionaires.

David Cameron

2008/9 £20,240
2007/8 £19,626
2006/7 £20,563
2005/6 £21,359

Nick Clegg

2008/9 £17,081
2007/8 £23,083
2006/7 £22,050
2005/6 £21,610

Ed Miliband also checks some other boxes: he was educated at a comprehensive school; he was not in parliament at all during Iraq either as an MP or as an advisor (he was lecturing at an American university at the time). He is a warm personality who can communicate. His family set-up also resembles modern Britain more than that of the leaders of the other parties: he lives with his girlfriend and the couple have one child and are expecting another in November.

For me, the only doubt is whether he can be assertive. But then again, he can always leave the bad-cop stuff to a member of his cabinet. Politics (especially in Labour) is a team sport.


Anonymous said...

'Ed Miliband also checks some other boxes'

Son of a communist millioinaire?

Can't wait until the press get stuck into his complex tax avoidance schemes set up to, well,capital gains tax.

Bring it on!

Anonymous said...

The greatest beneficiary of an Ed Millipede win will be Respect.