Last week I posted a a story (link to Clelland allowance abuse story) about how a Labour MP (Dave Clelland, Tyne Bridge) was using his Parliamentary allowance to pay for a website that he was then using to attack me as a Lib Dem councillor and the Liberal Democrats generally. Mr Clelland also defaced the Lib Dem logo which he then included on his website.
I wrote that I was referring the matter to the Commons Finance Department to enquire into the appropriateness of taxpayers’ money being used this way.
Well, we have a result! Mr Clelland has rather hurriedly announced that his site is no longer to be paid for by the taxpayer. Visit his website for his convoluted and hilarious explanation as to how he wasn’t actually using taxpayers’ money.
Or simply let me summarise his argument. He hadn’t used taxpayers’ money to pay for what went on to his site in November as he hadn’t got round to billing Parliament for the period covering November!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
He claims to be ever so grateful to me for bringing his attention to the restrictions that are placed on political comment by the Parliamentary Communications Allowance.
He has, he claims, opted for “free speech” and is no longer going to claim any taxpayers’ money for his website (presumably opting to speak freely before the Parliamentary authorities pay him a visit!)
Mr Clelland states, "If Councillor Wallace thought he could silence me he is mistaken." I have no interest in silencing Mr Clelland. I have to say however it is rather rich of him to refer to silence. In the 1997-2001 Parliament he spoke only once. And that was only 4 words.
I was the person who exposed this and I suspect Mr Clelland has not forgiven me for bringing the attention of Tyneside to his roar of silence.
He was, however, relieved of his governmental duties after the 2001 general election when he was freed to spend more time with his dictionary.
So, Mr Clelland is now to engage in free speech. And that means it will come free to the taxpayer as well.