in the House for Mr Salter - he managed to tear himself away from presenting himself as Mr Clean on expenses (hah!) in the TV studios of the nation for long enough to interrupt a question to the Leader of the House on Equitable Life, an issue you would think he would care about as it affected so many of his constituents (and Reading East ones too given that he prefers them to his own) - but no. Communications allowance was what he wanted to talk about. Was it fab or was it very fab? Very fab, said Harriet Harman. Here it is - note other members' reaction:
Mr. Speaker: Martin Salter.
Martin Salter rose—
Hon. Members: Not again!
Martin Salter: This had better be good! Thank you for calling me, Mr. Speaker, for the third time and I hope for many more. Will the Leader of the House find time for a debate on the use of the £35 million Short money that the Opposition have received since 1997? That debate should be seen in the light of yesterday’s posturing by the Leader of the Opposition about the MPs’ communications allowance, which he and 90 per cent. of all Conservative MPs have claimed but now want abolished.
oh by the way - the Reading Borough Council Bill came back to the House yesterday. Thrown out again. Not a word from Mr Salter.