Croydon South MP Richard Ottaway has been in touch to deny that Maddy Hale was ever in his paid employment.
Hale, as we reported, is the teenaged daughter of Lynne Hale, the Croydon Councillor for Sanderstead ward who as well as banking £45,000 per year from public funds in “allowances” from the Town Hall, also gets paid around £25,000 for her “second job”, tidying Ottaway’s paper clips or whatever it is she is supposed to do as his Parliamentary assistant.
This summer, after her exams, judging by her own public statements, it seemed that Maddy Hale had landed a plum summer job at the House of Commons, working alongside her multi-tasking, very busy mother.
Not so says Ottaway.
Ottaway tells us: “Whilst Ms Hale has done unpaid work on a couple of occasions in the past, at no time has she been in my employment and there are no plans for her to be so.”
Ottaway, a lawyer by profession, adds: “We live in a free society and as your MP I will vigorously defend your right to publish your views.” Has he been reading the Sadvertiser recently?
“However with rights come responsibilities including a duty to be accurate when purporting to state facts,” Ottaway writes.
But we have a dilemma. Ottaway’s comments are at odds with the public statements of the younger Hale, who on May 30 announced to her friends via Twitter, “First day at a real job tomorrow! Hello £10 an hour! (when I get paid in a month).”
So who are we to believe?
We have gone back to Ottaway with a set of questions in the hope of clarifying the position.
- Please list all the current members of your parliamentary and constituency staff, listing the nature of their employment, their pay scale (where as a public servant the matter is in the public domain) and their function.
- When interns work in your offices, whether at Westminster or in Croydon, do you ensure that they are paid at least the minimum wage?
- When Maddy Hale was engaged on “unpaid work” by you, how was this outstanding opportunity advertised to the broader youth population of Croydon?
- Do you feel that work opportunities for an MP should be openly advertised?
- Does the employment of councillors and the provision of work opportunities for their families compromise the independence of councillors?
- Are you confident that employment law has been respected in providing no payment for work done?
- How many jobs does Councillor Lynne Hale have?
Obviously, as soon as Ottaway responds to our questions, we’ll let you know.
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- For Croydon MP Ottaway, it’s a case of jobs for the girls (insidecroydon.wordpress.com)
- Gavin Barwell’s website, payments and councillors on his staff (insidecroydon.wordpress.com)
- Call for u-turn on BBC funding cut (independent.co.uk)