Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Too Much Spare Time

Image result for too much spare time + images

If you ask me, the following article from The Times is living proof that some people at Westminster have far too much free time on their hands.

I mean to say how many Scottish MPs live in tiny villages with just four houses? 

And given that MPs all advertise where and when they hold their open 'surgeries' on a regular basis, this all sounds a bit too ridiculous for words.

Must have been a quiet news day.



MPs’ home addresses ‘revealed by their mileage claims’

By Hannah McGrath - The Times
Angus Robertson, the SNP leader in Westminster, has demanded a change of policy by IpsaPA

Some MPs are refusing to submit mileage claims to the parliamentary expenses watchdog over fears that they could reveal where they live.

Angus Robertson, the SNP’s leader in Westminster, has told MPs to stop claiming mileage expenses for journeys made by car, citing safety concerns raised by the murder of Jo Cox in Birstall last June. He said that publication of the date, mileage and approximate location of MPs’ journeys by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) was “inadvertently confirming” the home addresses of parliamentarians.

Mr Robertson pointed out that some MPs in rural constituencies in Scotland lived in villages which might have as few as four houses.

Ipsa, however, has denied that the journey data published on its website is specific enough to reveal the location of MPs’ homes. A spokesman said it did not usually reveal specific information on the “origin, destination or time” of journeys made by MPs, and said staff took extra steps to redact the home addresses of MPs and their staff prior to publication.

Mr Robertson said: “While I support journey information being provided to Ipsa for auditing purposes, I have concerns about the decision to publicise it. Given the tragic case involving Jo Cox, this cannot be right. Until Ipsa changes this policy I have urgently told colleagues not to submit claims.”

The issue came to light after The Guardian reported details of a leaked letter revealing the SNP’s disagreement with Ipsa on the issue, after police officers who are responsible for MPs’ safety had raised concerns. The newspaper reported that senior security sources had warned Ipsa that MPs could be the focus of “hostile reconnaissance” from members of the public who could “triangulate” addresses as a result of publication of details of the journeys online, even if the addresses were anonymised.

Ipsa has responded by advising MPs to aggregate all journeys made in a single day and log it as constituency mileage. The spokesman said the rules would not be changed, but confirmed that a revised publications policy was due to be published by Ipsa next month.