“Data from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority shows that Sasha Swire, spouse of East Devon MP Hugo Swire, earned up to £209,996 between 2010 and 2016 for work as his parliamentary assistant. Mrs Swire was paid £35,000 during the last tax year.
IPSA chair Ruth Evans has described the situation as ‘out of step with modern employment practice’.
Neil Parish, MP for Tiverton and Honiton, pays his wife Susan a more modest £15,000 for her role as his junior secretary. Janet Streeter is employed by her husband Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon as a senior parliamentary assistant – also earning £15,000 a year. …
… Mr Streeter said: “I completely understand why IPSA have made this decision on the grounds of transparency but it will make some MPs less efficient.
“Our offices are like small businesses working crazy hours and things happen at all times of the night. This is why having a family member as part of the team can be so valuable. For example, on a Sunday afternoon me and my wife can have a sit down for half an hour and plan out the week ahead over a cup of tea.”
SUNDAY WORKING FOR A BUSY MP AND HIS WIFE
It’s Sunday at B’stard Towers, the second home of Sebastian B’stard MP (younger brother of Alan B’stard). Seb and his beautiful, willowy, blonde wife Suki are sipping their Lapsang Suchong tea from antique china cups:
Seb: Oh, by the way darling, I’m booked us on a fact-finding visit to the Seychelles next week for 10 days. You are down as my PA, of course.
Suki: Oh, lovely, darling, I’ll put it in the diary. I’ll nip out to Harrods tomorrow and get us some new designer swimwear to put on expenses.
Seb: Oh, and when we get back I’ve got to go to some god-forsaken part of the country on something called a battlebus to do something or other … and they’ve booked me into something called a Premier Inn …
Suki: Oh, darling – no, no, no – we can’t have that – that’s cattle class! I’ll call cousin Horace and we can stay at Twattings Castle for a few days.
Seb: Thank you, darling. What would I do without you. I think that deserves a jolly good raise for you, you work SO hard for me!
Suki: Oh, and by the way, can you get Janet from the office to come and babysit the kids at the weekends whilst Nanny has a break. God knows you pay her enough – £15,000 in London is a bloody fortune for her so we might as well get our money’s worth.