Monday, February 08, 2010


I have to admit that I think the Labour Party has made a mistake over the three MPs charged on Friday. Clearly, the three involved are entitled to use whatever defence they see fit - although I suspect that their attempts to use parliamentary privilege as a shield against allegations of criminal behaviour will be unsuccessful, as privilege has typically been used to protect an MP's freedom of speech, not the administration of their expenses.

However, the moment that charges of this seriousness were laid, then the three involved should have been suspended from the Labour Party. This should have happened on Friday without delay and would have been the right thing to do.

Suspending them today was the right move, but so belated that it allowed the Tories to gain a political advantage, which was a daft mistake to make. It is bad enough that three Labour MPs face criminal action, but it has been compounded by Labour making the bullets for the Tories to fire.

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