Anne Milton: possibly only a quarter as naughty as Derek Conway

Posted by Tim Ireland at 8 February 2008

Category: Anne Milton

This entry was posted on
Friday, February 8th, 2008
at
10:41 am and is filed
under Anne Milton.

Here’s the top story from the latest edition of our local newspaper:

Um, ah... Anne Milton's in trub-bllllllle!

For those of you in the cheap seats, that headline reads; MP paid her husband for £13,000 of Westminster work

(And you may recall that another Tory MP, Derek Conway, recently experienced some difficulty over a sum somewhere in the region of £40,000.)

Here’s the guts of that article:

MP Anne Milton has employed her husband and paid him £13,000 since coming to office, it has been revealed. The Tory shadow minister for health has hired spouse Graham Henderson in each of her first two years in Westminster. Between 2005 and 2006, he earned £6,500 from Ms Milton’s expenses as a researcher while the former nurse was setting up her office. During the following 12 months, Mr Henderson was paid £5,500, again to carry out research and answer e-mails on behalf of his wife. For his regular job, he is a doctor who works three days a week. Ms Milton said: “In 2005 I was setting up my office and I did not even have an office for the first six weeks. I only had a researcher. The following year, it would be far to say that I was incredibly busy on the hospital campaign and he did quite a lot of research for me, including on health, as well an answering e-mails and drafting letters. In the last year, my husband has worked for me and he has not been paid for it.”

OK, out comes my fisking tool… let’s slice and dice:

MP Anne Milton has employed her husband and paid him £13,000 since coming to office, it has been revealed.

£13,000? But only last Sunday, Milton was saying this:

The Sunday Times – Disorder, disorder!: Anne Milton, the Tory MP, gave her husband Graham Henderson a one-off payment of £5,500 last March for doing reading for her, as part of a local health campaign. “I paid my husband retrospectively for some work he had done. It was mostly reading, doing notes for me,” she said.

For further indication of how forthright she’s being with this latest statement, check out this earlier article, also from our local newspaper, where she explains the steep rise in her expenses by saying that she hired a new employee last year after being understaffed for her first 12 months in office… while completely failing to mention that her husband was a new addition to the payroll.

The Tory shadow minister for health has hired spouse Graham Henderson in each of her first two years in Westminster. Between 2005 and 2006, he earned £6,500 from Ms Milton’s expenses as a researcher while the former nurse was setting up her office.

For the tax year 2005-2006, Graham Henderson was employed as Director of Public Health for the East Surrey PCT, wasn’t he?

I must say, it takes an extraordinary amount of dedication to work twice as hard for the British taxpayer. Where did he find the time?

(rolls eyes)

During the following 12 months, Mr Henderson was paid £5,500, again to carry out research and answer e-mails on behalf of his wife…. [Anne Milton said]: “…it would be far to say that I was incredibly busy on the hospital campaign and he did quite a lot of research for me, including on health…”

Note that here (and, arguably, in the Times article), Milton cleverly associates the expenditure with the most popular campaign she has been involved in sought to exploit as an MP, but she does not actually say specifically that he was working on that campaign.

Was this expenditure directly related to the Save the Royal Surrey campaign? Surely if it was, she wouldn’t hesitate to point it out. She likes to scream “I’m saving the Royal Surrey, me!” as much as she used to enjoy bleating “I’m a former nurse!”

(ahem)

“… as well an answering e-mails and drafting letters.”

How convenient that Dr Graham Henderson was working on something that we the public can’t possibly see audited unless there’s an official police investigation.

“In the last year, my husband has worked for me and he has not been paid for it.”

The tax year’s not over yet. What reassurance do we have that he won’t be paid retrospectively?

And – crucially – what evidence can Anne Milton show us that Graham Henderson did any of the work he was paid for?

I’m going to email Anne Milton today and put a few pertinent questions to her. Perhaps the reply will come from Dr Graham Henderson or – more likely – it will come from Parliamentary Researcher Simon Hill, who – to the best of my recollection – is the only person who has answered (or declined to answer) any of the questions I’ve put to Anne Milton via email.

UPDATE (14 Feb) – Click here to read those questions… and Milton’s single, pissweak answer.








5 Comments

  1. Duncan Borrowman says

    But is she in denial like Mr Conway?http://duncanborrowman.blogspot.com/2008/02/derek

  2. maryb says

    Does anyone know where the good Doctor (aka Dr Julian Clary) is now since the demise of the East Surrey PCT. As a Guildford resident would be very interested to know. Saw the Surrey Ad article this morning.Oink Oink for now

  3. Manic says

    Heh. Hello Mary. I dropped the 'lookalike' schtick a while ago, as it makes it far too easy for Milton to play the victim. Just so you know.:o)Duncan: Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dearie me. I'm quite overcome by that.

  4. Duncan Borrowman says

    Indeed, reach for the smelling salts. Of course any postings that help to get this noticed across the internet would help to keep the issue in the air while I await a reply from the Police and the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards on my two complaints.

  5. Manic says

    Done.

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