The turnout in the Rother Valley constituency was the highest of all the Rotherham seats (over 64%). Although I received just over 40% of the votes cast, I only received 2,700 less votes than in the previous general election. I am in favour of the alternative vote system, in which voters rank their candidates in order of preference, ensuring that a winning candidate has to get more than 50% of the votes cast in a single constituency
As I said in my victory speech at last week’s count, a measure of any government is how that government affects the lives of people in constituencies such as ours. The new coalition government should and will be judged on that basis. From Kevin Barron’s website.
In a move that is to be applauded, Kevin Barron has begun to use his website to express his views on political issues. This is excellent news – we now know that he supports some level of voting reform, although sadly the referendum bit of this bit of the 1997 Labour Party manifesto was never delivered:
We are committed to a referendum on the voting system for the House of Commons. An independent commission on voting systems will be appointed early to recommend a proportional alternative to the first-past-the-post system.
The report was completed though (The Jenkins Report) and can be downloaded here. The report has this to say about the alternative vote system:
“it is also the only option the Commons would probably back, since MPs are hardly likely to vote themselves out of their own seats, …
However AV does little to counteract geographical distribution of electoral support and will not assist parties such as the Liberal Democrats whose support is not concentrated in particular locations”
Which is not the most ringing endorsement. To me this reads: ‘it won’t really change the outcome of any seats, and it won’t address the major problem with the current system which is that parties with an even spread of votes geographically are under-represented nationally.’
Well, the Legg report inot MPs expenses is out, and nearly half of them have to pay money back.
To my surprise, Kevin Barron isn’t one of them – the report says “Mr Barron has no issues”
So it seems that an £8,500 printer really is absolutely necessary for Kevin Barron’s work as an MP, in which case I wonder why not all MPs have one. It also seems that he really did need to spend £850 on new cameras in three years – he simply couldn’t represent us without them. And yes, it seems it is essential for every MP to have almost £7,500 worth of office furniture, as well as £200 a month on petty cash without a receipt to be seen (£200 month only works out as one month’s extra salary a year for someone on average wages after all).
It’s fine that he has claimed over £1,000 for websites that didn’t exist for very long, if at all, from companies that don’t seem to exist who seem to have employed Kevin Barron’s son Robbie to register domains at a cost of £10.
And claiming £1,000 or so from the public purse for the completion of your personal tax return is, it seems, fine – if you’re an MP. It’s not even a tax-deductible expense if you’re self employed, but if you’re an MP you can get the taxpayer to pay for it all.
And it turns out that it’s ok that Kevin Barron hasn’t to my knowledge submitted any statements for his mortgage, leaving the mystery of why the documents he has submitted suggest the amount he has borrowed (and which we are paying the interest on) had risen by £38,000 or so.
Well I watched the video of Kevin Barron on Sky before I left work tonight. My favourite quote was “I didn’t doctor bills that I’d paid for previously, I submitted bills that took me up to the limit for what I could get for the year. ”
Not ‘what I needed’ or even ‘to which I was entitled’ but ‘what I could get.’ A very revealing use of language from Kevin Barron I thought. And where did the idea of doctoring bills come from. That seemed an odd thing to mention apropos of nothing.
I wonder if all those bills he submitted to get him to the limit were as legitimate as the one seemingly raised by his son for work on a website that very few people recall seeing?
Incidentally Kevin is wrong; he hasn’t submitted “bills” for the amounts referred to in the interview, or invoices, or even statements. The letter shown in the previous post makes this quite clear.
Posted by Wordmobi
Kevin Barron MP was on Sky last night, talking about expenses. He’s getting quite vocal on the subject recently. Perhaps he might get around to answering the questions about his own expenses soon? He took on Paul Staines aka Guido Fawkes – I’ve not actually watched it yet as I’m at work with no sound, but here it is anyway. I’m guessing Kevin Barron MP doesn’t come out of it smelling of roses. here . His comments are very interesting:
Guido has also written about the interview
Guido isn’t sure what Labour MP Kevin Barron was expecting when he agreed to go on Sky News last night – the day details of MPs’ expenses were released. Beforehand in the green room he was lamenting to former LibDem MP Richard Allen that the expenses gravy train had come to an end. Once in front of the cameras he tried to make out he was some kind of reformer. Guido wasn’t having that. After [the] on screen exchange he called Guido a rude word. How hurtful…
I see Sir Thomas Legg has said that mortgage claims made as part of MPS expenses must be accompanied by statements, rather than cover sheets. Failure to provide these statements means the MPs are liable to pay back all the mortgage interest they have claimed.
Kevin Barron, MP for the Rother Valley is one of those who claimed for mortgage interest without submitting statements.
Kevin, I hope you’ve kept copies of everything. Hopefully they will end up in the public domain as they always should have been, so we can see quite why your interest payments went up as much as they did, as you don’t seem keen to actually tell your constituents yourself.
Posted by Wordmobi
Kevin Barron MP
National Challenge Programme: 27 Apr 2009: House of Commons debates (TheyWorkForYou.com)
There is a lot of noise being made about the proposals to turn Maltby Community School into Maltby Academy – and most of it reaching my ears is against the idea, although I have heard a few voices in support as well.
Our man at Westminster Kevin Barron MP talked about the Academy plans in the House of Commons two days ago – he had the opportunity to ask questions of the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families about it.
So is our MP for the proposals, or against them? What leads him to think that way?
Perhaps we will never know, as he used his opportunity to pass on the concerns and or expectations of his constituents to instead ‘grass’ on the Conservative’s prospective parliamentary candidate for his seat for voting against the proposals.
No input of his own, no statement of his own views.
Just telling tales.
Well done Kevin – an excellent use of your platform.
Kevin Barron MP
Miners Knee is now one of the illnesses for which ex-miners can claim compensation.
Kevin Barron has pointed out though that the criteria for payments are stricter than for some other complaints:
“It’s good news, but we have to be careful here, because it’s not the same type of offer as it was for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and vibration white finger.”
“The miner has to be alive, and have worked underground for 10 years before 1986. Those are the limitations on it, so there can be no posthumous claims made by family members, which make up about 50 per cent of the COPD and VWF claims.”
“Overall I welcome this. It’s just further evidence of the legacy of coa lmining in the Rother Valley. And although most of the pits in the area have now closed, this will continue to be the case for years and decades to come.”
Miners’ Knee put on prescribed list – Dinnington Today