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A dishonourable discharge for Hazel Blears

boatrock2So farewell Hazel Blears who is to step down as MP for Salford and Ecclers at the next election. We’ll forgive Ed Miliband for saying she has been a “brilliant MP” and that she was “always fighting for those in most need. Parliament will miss her” — he’s the leader and has to be generous at such moments. We do not suffer from that obligation.

Hazel Blears was a loyal Blairite (having started out on the Left according to some reports) and she’s entitled to her political opinions. She was nevertheless promoted by Gordon Brown to her first proper Cabinet role as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (having previously been ‘Labour Party Chair’). She repaid him by resigning from his cabinet in order to do him (and by implication the Labour Party) maximum damage immediately before the European elections five years ago, famously sporting a brooch bearing the message “rocking the boat”.

Before that, she was of course the most notorious of all the MPs expenses scandal ‘home-flippers’. She ‘flipped’ her home three times in the space of a year, claimed one-off expenses on both homes, and failed to pay capital gains tax on the sale of what was clearly her second home (as she admits on the video below). Although she later dramatically produced a cheque for £13,332 — more than any of her constituents would have sitting in her current account — which she said she was sending to the Revenue, she stated only that it was the “equivalent of what would have been paid had I been liable“.

Many people simply could not understand why she was not immediately sacked and included amongst the MPs suspended from party membership, nor why she was not properly investigated by the Police, in spite of pressure to do so at the time. At the time, John Mann MP said:

I tell you what: any Labour MP who isn’t paying capital gains tax should not be a Labour MP…. And whatever the systems, people need to be honest with themselves and honest with the country. If capital gains tax needs paying, pay it.”

As you will hear on the video, she claims that “the single most important thing in my life is the relationship with my constituents in Salford“. Not any more it seems.

Image credit: HeBe Jewellery (from whom the brooch may be purchased)

2 Comments

  1. John reid says:

    She did start on the left, I don’t think she ever forgot, her anti the police views, in fact When the police Chiefs at the ACPO meeting accused her of patronising them to death, her boss David Blunkett, told ACPO off, for heckling her, she then went to be photographed with convicted murderers at an anti knife campaign, bit daft thing to do.

  2. James Martin says:

    Good riddance to bad rubbish. In fact if she had any principles at all (other than in looking after her own career) she would have resigned after being exposed as being one of the worst expenses fiddlers of the lot. I mean, she even claimed £200 on bath towels. Two hundred quid on blinkin’ towels.. What sort of towels cost two hundred quid!

    But then she did this while at the same time enthusiastically backing Blair over Iraq. Perhaps the deaths of 100,000 innocent civilians that she then bore responsibility for meant she felt the need to wash a lot?

    There again, if she was bothered about killing she wouldn’t also have been an enthusiastic supporter of wasting billions on weapons of mass destruction (Trident) that could only be used to murder billions.

    A disgrace to the labour movement that should be booed wherever she steps out of one of her many houses…

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