MPs to consider 'nannygate' affair
MPs will consider today whether Tory frontbencher Caroline Spelman should be punished over the "nannygate" affair.
The Standards and Privileges Committee is due to discuss a report into Mrs Spelman's conduct prepared by Commons sleaze watchdog John Lyon.
Mrs Spelman's position has been in doubt since allegations emerged last year that she paid for childcare using parliamentary allowances. MPs' expenses are only supposed to cover activities directly related to their jobs.
The controversy is thought to have forced David Cameron to delay a reshuffle of his top team. Last month he finally acted to shift Mrs Spelman from party chairman to shadow communities secretary.
The Meriden MP has insisted that Tina Haynes was only paid with public funds for secretarial work between 1997 and 1998, and her nannying duties were rewarded separately with free board and lodging.
But asked by the BBC last year about the extent of her admin duties, Ms Haynes said she had only posted letters, "took the odd phone call" and passed on messages "once or twice a week".
Critics have also pointed out that Ms Haynes was working at Mrs Spelman's family home in Kent, some 140 miles from her West Midlands constituency.
The arrangement ended after the Conservative Party's chief whip told Mrs Spelman it could be "open to misinterpretation", and she appointed a new constituency secretary.
Standards Commissioner Mr Lyon has been examining the case for nine months. He originally refused to launch a probe as it focused on events from more than seven years ago. However, he agreed after Mrs Spelman said she wanted to clear her name.
- 2 Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
- 3 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
Nepal earthquake: More than 1,100 killed across four countries and in Mount Everest avalanche
Nepal earthquake: The race is on to help thousands trapped under rubble around Kathmandu, while remote villages face a long wait for help
Royal baby: Live updates as superbug closes ward at St Mary's Hospital where Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth
Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...