MPs block former head of expenses watchdog from new role

Posted On: 
24th January 2018

MPs have blocked the former boss of Parliament's expenses watchdog Sir Ian Kennedy from taking on a new role. 

Sir Ian Kennedy is the former head of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority

The ex-head of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority was lined up for an appointment at the Electoral Commission.

But despite no objections being raised by the leaders of Westminster parties, MPs voted against the decision by 77 to 46.

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Former James Duddridge said Sir Ian was too old for the job at 76-years-old and criticised his performance in his previous role.

"Whilst our expenses system desperately needed to be reformed, I don't think there's a single member of the House that thinks Ipsa is a system that is a system lacking in bureaucracy that couldn't be well reformed...” he said.

"I don't think he did a good job."

Labour MP John Spellar branded Sir Ian an "arch quangocrat" and said he had "largely created the dreadful, anti-elected member, vindictive attitude that has permeated so much of Ipsa".

He added that the organisation has "taken as its premise that they are there to make life difficult for members of Parliament”.

But others rallied around the ex-expenses chief, with Labour’s Ben Bradshaw hailing Sir Ian as “one of the UK's most experienced regulators,” and describing the conduct of the MPs as “petty behaviour”.  

While the SNP’s Kirsty Blackman said: "It's pretty clear that there's a significant personal element to how some members feel about this.”