Thursday, October 26, 2017

Is this an appropriate use of public funds?

When I first heard the news of the McCarthy-style letter to UK universities by Tory whip Chris Heaton-Harris asking for information on European studies and who was teaching a syllabus that did not reflect the narrow world of the Brexit extremists, my first thought was that this was a questionable use of public money. MPs can use Parliamentary stationery and postage to support their activities as a constituency MP or as a minister. I was having difficulty matching CHH's letter to any of these legitimate uses. And then today, we learnt that CHH was writing a book (presumably about Brexit). I'm not sure it will be a contender for the Booker prize and I doubt it will be a blockbuster but it does strike me that taxpayers should not be paying for the research for a book.

I'm glad to see that Tom Brake has taken up this issue. Hopefully CHH will repay the public money spent in pursuit of his book's research. It could be used as the first installment of the so-far unseen £350 million a week extra for the NHS.

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