Saturday, May 16, 2009

Email from Gordon Brown

Dear Louise,

Like me, you joined the Labour Party to make Britain fairer and stronger. It’s always hard work campaigning in politics – but I know that it’s even harder than usual at the moment. You deserve better than the scandal that is casting a cloud over Westminster right now. All of us take our place as Labour members, campaigners, councillors, organisers or elected representatives because we believe in something quite fundamental – that we achieve more together than we do alone. We come into politics not for what we can get but for what we can give.

This week, I apologised on behalf of all politicians and all parties and set out Labour’s determination to put things right - not through words, but through action.

Two MPs have been suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party this week while the Standards Commissioner investigates their cases – investigations that we ourselves have asked for. And a third has stepped down as a minister while he is being investigated.

I have discussed this matter with the General Secretary and Chair of the NEC and we are all clear that where wrongs need to be righted the Labour Party will not hesitate to invoke its disciplinary procedures.

This is not a time for papering over cracks – it’s a time to clean up the system as a whole. I have called for every single expenses claim made in the last four years to be put to independent scrutiny – and an independent process to decide what should be paid back. Already we have ensured that outer London MPs won’t get the second home allowance, that just like any other organisation MPs should submit receipts with their claims, and any MPs who have second jobs should declare them properly. And we are looking at strong rules to regulate the tax and mortgage affairs of politicians –that’s only fair.

You’ll know from your own campaigning on the doorstep that politicians’ most precious asset is trust and I know that we have a lot of work to do to regain it. Now more than ever people on modest and middle incomes need a Labour government standing by their side, so you have my word – when it comes to cleaning up politics, I’ll do whatever it takes to make you proud to campaign for Labour.




Dee Sellekshun said...

Wow! I know you are popular locally but qhy do you think he emailed you? He should send this to everyone in the Labour Party.

Louise Baldock said...

Dont be stupid. Of course he sent it to everyone in the Labour Party. I was not bragging that I had an email, I was letting people see what he is saying about this terrible situation

Anonymous said...

People should be grateful that, unlike others, she is willing to print what she gets as a Labour member.

Chris Gale said...

The media frenzy over MPs expenses appears designed to paralyse the political system and bring it to its knees.
This may give leader writers, columnists and armchair critics a lot of satisfaction but it is appalling that the day to day business of politics that is crucial to so many aspects of public life can be put on hold because the Daily Telegraph, in receipt of stolen private data, so decrees it.

Im not buying into the pavlov dog reaction of the public over this issue. How many of the boorish people interviewed on the streets by BBC News 24 would like or could do an MPs job?!

Tannoy said...

Interesting Louise. What are your thoughts on this given that you've said already there should be a general election asap?

Personally, I think it is too little too late - everything GB says in his email has been pretty obvious from the start of this sorry affair, and this just feels like a bandwagon jumped on at the last minute.

If Gordon needed to wait this long for a focus group to tell him this is how the rest of us feel he is on a different planet.

It is little consolation that he's messed up the Labour party as much as he has the nation's finances....

Louise Baldock said...

My thoughts on Gordon's email? Well first of all I am glad he has seen that he must write to all of us, that we deserve an apology and that as he says, we deserve better.

I am glad that he is proposing to do various things, suspend MPs and sack ministers etc. And I am glad that all the expenses will be scrutinised since the last GE so that we can see who else has shamed us.

But I still think we need a general election, myself.

Louise Baldock said...

- that is what would make me proud.

Tannoy said...

Louise, it wouldn't make me proud, but it might restore a little shred of respect in my mind for him as a person if he had the guts to do that....chance would be a fine thing though - he knows the government would probably be toast if he did.

I think perhaps he rightly fears the electorate would treat a general election as an opportunity to punish Labour for their governance generally, rather than simply over the issue of expenses.....???

Jan Clein said...

Brown says;- This week, I apologised on behalf of all politicians and all parties...

How arrogant! The only person anyone can apologise for are themselves. I’m a politician & he doesn’t need to apologise for me as I haven’t been screwing the system that they set up for their own benefit.

Percy said...

I am not having a go at jan Clein, who I really like but how about Mike Storey apologising to Mr Harbarrow sometime rather than getting Mr Hilton to do it. And while you're at it an apology now for letting Storey be Mayor. What kind of message does that send out. a reward for breaching standards of behaviour? And last of all, has Cleggy Nick apologised for taking his expenses to the very limit of what you can claim every year?