MPs finally get ‘revenge’ nine years after expenses scandal by blocking watchdog’s new job

Ex-MPs’ Expenses Chief Sir Ian Kennedy Hits Out At ‘Squalid Vendetta’ After Commons Blocks New Appointment

MPs sought to ‘punish me’ for ‘cleaning up mess’

MPs have finally got “revenge” nine years after the expenses scandal – by blocking their watchdog’s new job.

The Commons voted 77-46 tonight to stop Sir Ian Kennedy, ex-chairman of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, becoming an Electoral Commissioner.

Sir Ian, who led a controversial crackdown on claims after the scandal in 2009, was backed by Theresa May for the £374-a-day role with the elections watchdog.

But 40 Tory and 31 Labour MPs were branded “petty” after leading a revolt against his appointment. HuffPost UK and The Sun quoted anonymous MPs describing the move as “revenge”.

Conservative former minister James Duddridge said he believed Sir Ian was “not a fit and proper person” to serve in the four-year role.

He told the Commons: “This gentleman is 76 now, he’ll be 80 at the end of his term. When he served on a health commission, he claimed £15,000 in taxis from North London to the job.

“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.

“I don’t think he did a good job.”

Labour MP John Spellar accused IPSA of “obstructionism”, adding: “Let’s be frank about it.

“Sir Ian Kennedy, many colleagues feel, largely created the dreadful, anti-elected member, vindictive attitude that has permeated so much of IPSA. That has basically taken as its premise that they are there to make life difficult for MPs.”

Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom said no objections were raised by the leaders of political parties to Sir Ian’s appointment.

Shadow Commons leader Valerie Vaz also outlined Labour’s support for the recommendation.

And Labour’s Bridget Phillipson, who served on the appointments panel, insisted a “rigorous process was followed”.

Labour MP Ben Bradshaw tweeted: “Petty behaviour by some MPs tonight blocking the appointment of Sir Ian Kennedy, one of UK’s most experienced regulators.”

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