Third Time Lucky – Martin Speaks In Parliament, frustratingly

salter fish

Martin Salter (Reading West, Labour)
Can the Leader of the House find time for a debate on the use— [ Interruption. ]

Harriet Harman (Lord Privy Seal, House of Commons; Camberwell & Peckham, Labour) Link to this | Hansard source
rose—

Michael Martin (Speaker)
I call Martin Salter.
Add your comment
Martin Salter (Reading West, Labour)
Could the Leader of the House find time— [ Interruption. ]
Add your comment
Michael Martin (Speaker)
Order. Sorry, I thought that the right hon. and learned Lady had finished.

Harriet Harman (Lord Privy Seal, House of Commons; Camberwell & Peckham, Labour)

…………………blah blah ……………….
Michael Martin (Speaker)
The right hon. and learned Lady should not draw breath—that is what happened, and I called someone else. Please answer, and then I will call Mr. Salter.

Michael Martin (Speaker)
Martin Salter.

Martin Salter (Reading West, Labour)
rose—

Hon. Members:
Not again!

Martin Salter (Reading West, Labour)
This had better be good! Thank you for calling me, Mr. Speaker, for the third time and I hope for many more. Will the Leader of the House find time for a debate on the use of the £35 million Short money that the Opposition have received since 1997? That debate should be seen in the light of yesterday’s posturing by the Leader of the Opposition about the MPs’ communications allowance, which he and 90 per cent. of all Conservative MPs have claimed but now want abolished.

Harriet Harman (Lord Privy Seal, House of Commons; Camberwell & Peckham, Labour)
Short money is public money that goes to the Opposition to help them to do their work and develop policy. That is important. We should acknowledge that public money underpins the political system in respect of the Opposition as well as the Government, but we must also recognise the role of the communications allowance. We need to be in communication with our constituents and to give them information about issues of concern to them. For example, we should tell them what help is available for those who lose their jobs and are worried about losing their homes. We should give them information about the mortgage protection schemes. We should give information to small businesses in our constituencies and tell them about the possibility of deferring taxes. It is not permissible to use the communications allowance to pass on party political messages, but I hope all hon. Members will use their allowance to give constituents the information they need. I support that, and I agree with my hon. Friend.

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Published in: on May 18, 2009 at 1:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

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