Row over councillor pay
Grant Shapps has dismissed a report by MPs into local councillors' pay as a "cynical and sleazy move" by Labour.
A Local Government Select Committee report this morning warns low pay is deterring many from running as councillors, but the Tory chair claimed Labour was pushing for higher pay because its councillors donate part of their allowance to the party.
Mr Shapps said councillors did a "fantastic job", but insisted the role should not come with "paid terms and conditions".
"In difficult times the idea that the answer is to spend more public money shows that Labour still hasn't learned anything about the problems that got us in this financial mess in the first place," he told the Today programme.
But committee chair Clive Betts emphatically denied the accusations, and said MPs had taken evidence from all parties.
"We were not in any way influenced by how much of a councillors’ allowance might be made as contribution to the political party they represent. That was not a factor. It was nothing to do with our recommendation," he said.