In view of the forthcoming new rules restricting MPs from employing spouses or relatives, Stephen Nolan from BBC radio5alive interviewed Harrow East MP Bob Blackman about employing his wife to run his office having never faced an interview.
Mr Blackman badly waffled throughout the interview, including in answering the following questions:
“You have been handed public money and you are a closed shop for that one position?”
“You are saying that there is no one better than your wife in whole country” for the job?
Regarding his wife’s salary between £35-45 thousands, “who decides whether she is worth £35, 000 or £45,000 – her husband?”
Concluding remark: “Public taxes are paying for your wife and husband decides whether she is worth £35,000 or ££45,000?”
Mr Blackman hopelessly argued that he was advised to employ “whoever you choose” and that they don’t care about equal opportunities.
Regarding employing his ‘staff’, there are also concerns about his controversial assistant who appeared from nowhere and has seemingly overtaken his wife in politics.
On the financial front, media, including the Mirror, reported that Harrow East Tory MP Bob Blackman was ordered to repay more than £1,000 in wrongly-claimed mileage expenses.
All this, along with an ineffective Tory opposition group on the council, does not give a positive picture of Tory politics in Harrow.