Dozens of MPs still employ family members as staff
1 min read
Scores of MPs continue to employ a member of their family at the expense of the taxpayer despite a ban on newly elected parliamentarians doing the same.
Some 122 returning MPs continue to employ a family member or relative according to the latest Register of Members’ Financial Interests.
The number has decreased from 135 before the general election was called - after a crackdown meant new MPs would have to pay any ‘connected’ parties out of their own pocket.
The rules were due to change at the scheduled general election in 2022 but came in sooner after Theresa May called the snap vote in June.
Unlock Democracy, a campaign group calling for voting reform, said a transitional period for those MPs still employing family members was reasonable.
"The ban on new MPs employing family members reflects the public's concerns about nepotism and the potential abuse of public money,” said director Alexandra Runswick.
"A transitional period is reasonable, particularly as the snap election means that these rules have come into force three years earlier than expected.
"However, there does need to be a clear end date. If MPs employing family members is wrong in principle then when the MP was first elected is irrelevant.
“While it is reasonable the current employees have some protection, it is important that we move to a situation where the rules apply equally to all MPs."
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