In what the inimitable Guido Fawkes at Order-Order blog calls a flagrant attack on transparency and a clear attempt to cover up and keep secret the names of MPs accused of wrongdoing, the IPSA (ironically called Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority) chair Ian Kennedy has decreed that “an MP could suffer unfair reputational damage” if the public knew they were facing an expenses investigation, ruling that the “publication of an allegation” should be prevented.
The sinister document claims “public interest in transparency must be balanced with operational needs and fairness”, concluding: “we believe that the operational and reputational damage to MPs which could be caused by the publication of allegations in advance of a substantive investigation outweighs the benefits of release.”
Guido makes a very good point about the new inquiry into MPs expenses claims, and its plan to not name names which was quietly announced during the noise of Tory conference. He says:
“IPSA has launched a public consultation on the insidious proposals, inviting the thoughts of voters on whether or not they should be allowed to know if their MP is suspected of being a crook. They have already been condemned by Alistair Graham, former chairman of the Committee on Standards and Public Life, as retrograde, foolish and perverse”.
You can read the document here and email a submission to the consultation here “email@example.com”
New proposals from the parliamentary expenses watchdog to keep secret the names of MPs facing investigation for fiddling their expenses will, we anticipate, refer only to “The Hon Member Of Duck Island” or “The Hon Member for Dredged Moat Castle”.