MP questions the need for ban on hiring family
Canterbury and Whitstable MP Julian Brazier has also criticised the new ban on hiring family members.
The Tory, who has represented the city since 1987, employs wife Kate for two days a week on a salary close to £15,000.
He has questioned the need for the ban, pointing to previous rule changes which reduced the number of “connected parties” an MP can hire to one.
“I think the current rules are very balanced,” he said. “The connected party has to be subject to a proper contract setting out how may hours they are being paid for, subject to pay scales, which are laid down by parliament per hour.
“The job often involves a lot of working at strange hours and having your wife controlling things like your diary, particularly on Fridays and at weekends, just works that much better.”
Sir Julian says Kate also oversees his council work, liaising with government departments on issues including housing, environmental health and education. “There’s no doubt she brings something special to it,” he said. “It’s not absolutely essential to have a family member on the payroll, but I think she offers extremely good value to the taxpayer for the two days she works for me.
“The new ban is just silly. It’s one more example of people not living in the real world.”
Sir Julian Brazier MP and his wife Kate