Monday, 18 February 2008

Piles of Air Miles

Poor old House of Commons Speaker Michael Martin MP. Harangued over his dithering stance on Derek Conway MP, lambasted for allowing the public to pay for his wife’s taxi fares to collect their dinner, he has now entered the fray himself with his less than correct use of air miles.

Last year Martin clocked up £10,587 in Parliamentary allowances to cover air travel. This also allowed him to amass over 1 million air miles, 54,000 of which were used to subsidize London bound flights for his children and families over the Christmas and New Year period. MP’s seeking advice from the Commons Estimates Committee, of which Mr Martin is Chair, are told that any accrued air miles should be used for “future business flights”. Ministers themselves are banned from using them from public use.

Clearly Mr Martin himself is operating outside of the rules, regulations and advice that is given to his fellows MP’s. His stock piling of air miles and failure to use them to offset official travel is an indication that he always intended to use them for other purposes.

Sadly, this is the man who has been put in charge of a review which will consider such misdemeanours. No chance of progress there then.

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