MPs Kirkbride and Moran fall on swords

May 28, 2009

The expenses scandal has claimed two more victims – one from each side of the House.

Labour MP for Luton South Margaret Moran has announced that she will stand down at the next election, while Conservative MP Julie Kirkbride will no longer represent her Bromsgrove constituency after the likely 2010 poll.

Both MPs have defended the expenses they have claimed, arguing they have taken the decision to step down as a way of ensuring their respective political parties’ chances are not damaged at the next general election.

But Moran has claimed the stress and “health problems” the furore has caused her, while Kirkbride is worried about the effect the intense media spotlight has had on her family.

Which begs two questions.  Have Moran and Kirkbride been given rougher treatment by the media because there are women? And will Parliament struggle to find candidates of a suitable calibre to stand as MPs in the future?

11 comments

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They ALL need to be removed from office at the next election. Attmepting to stage mamange us and delay an election will only reinforce our anger towards all party’s.
The only way to start to rid ourselves of the corrupt and self servers is to take the stance that if you are part of the system then you are part of the problem.
They speak as if we have no say in who stands for office or when.
A fully non party system needs to be elected and only independent candidates will achieve that goal for the elctorate.
Why is it only now that the three so called amin party leaders are wanting reform and now wanting to remove from selection certain MP’s.
How stupid do they think we the electorate are.

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

about time they went what a cheek to hang on till the next election they are not in the same world as the taxpayer, should we have the ducking stool and the stocks brought back , they might work out better than a lie detector test

Posted by bill | Report as abusive

It is quite shocking how many of these people continue to claim that they have done nothing wrong. It shows how utterly out of touch they are with the values of the majority of people in this country. Something akin to a bloodless purge of Parliament is now required, but I fear that no good candidates will be found to replaced those “liquidated” until MPs are paid a proper salary (which must be a six-figure sum) with no expenses on top other than travelling expenses and perhaps some sort of subsistence allowance for those whose constituencies are far from Westminster.

Posted by Matthew | Report as abusive

Should it be that the Police investigate the alledged fraud whereby expenses have been claimed for non-existant mortgages?

Posted by David | Report as abusive

I am sick and tired of hearing this type of hard done by because they were females tripe dressed up as reporting.

Will the author of this article please provide concrete proof that because these two individuals are females they have been given a rougher ride by the media.

Posted by nick | Report as abusive

These two women came under pressure not because of their gender, but because are so out of touch with reality (or so insensitive) they didn’t recognise that voters no longer want them at Westminster.

It’s a pity their is no mechanism for forcing the immediate resignation of MPs. Let’s hope this will be addressed in the belated upcoming reform of Parliament.

Posted by Bill Basham | Report as abusive

I totally agree with Mark about removing ALL MP’s from office but I do not agree at the next election – it should happen NOW!
MP’s have abused the system for years no matter what the House of Commons ‘Green Book’ says for morally they, as our representatives, should know what is right and what is wrong and not hide behind an in-house publication.
As of now, the rules should be simpled thus:
No MP shall be able to claim expenses per calendar year in excess of £1000! this would make it quite clear to all MP’s, old and new as to what is allowed and if they don’t approve, don’t stand for Parliament!
Why should they be able to claim for things that the man & woman in the street cannot claim for?
They earn enough for God’s sake to be able to pay and when an MP claims for a mortgage, surely it is the end?
For any MP’s to pay back what they should not have claimed for in the first place and then only doing so because of a newspaper’s in-depth investigation absolutely stinks!
British MP’s will never again receive any respect from the British people!

Posted by Graham | Report as abusive

I suggest that these two MPs were pursued so enthusiastically by the media for the simple reason that they could be accused with impunity. Unlike many MPs who can protest that their claims were “within the spirit” of the rules, the claims of this pair are so blatantly fraudulent that they cannot be defended. Their “rougher” treatment by the media is not because they are women, but because they are greedy and dishonest people who were careless in hiding the fact.

Parliament will always struggle to find people who the voters would consider to be of the “right calibre”. Politics by definition attracts those people with the base instincts of a desire to impose their views on others and a desire to make money while doing it.

Btw – the people who advocate giving MPs a pay rise (into 3 figures) and no expenses, should be aware of the real cost. Such a rise would increase their pay AND THEIR FINAL SALARY PENSIONS by 56%. Given that their pensions are already an unfunded burden on present and future taxpayers, such a move makes no financial sense to anyone except the MPs themselves.

Posted by Andy | Report as abusive

The latest revelations in the press today and the weasel responses of party leaders to their MPs who have “honourably decided to stand down at the next election” demonstrate the absolute cynicism and moral vacuum that exists in British politics.

The Liberal Clegg generally talks self-serving rubbish, but his most recent utterance is deserving of some attention, namely that any group of an MP’s constituents who are able to raise a given number of signatures should be able to force a bye-election in their constituency. Now THAT would give real power to the people and would force MPs to give proper consideration to the views of their constituents instead of meekly following the instructions of their party whips.

Posted by Peter | Report as abusive

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