Details of shocking claims that MPs swore at and bullied staff in charge of a crackdown on expenses can be revealed for the first time today.It's really one of those stories where you think everyone involved needs to be told to grow the hell up:
Today’s revelations follow the resignation of IPSA operations director Nigel Gooding in June after rows with MPs over the tough new expenses regime. Mr Gooding, 46, said he left ‘for the sake of my health and sanity’.You had a job that the majority of people in the country would kill for - getting to grips with the troughing swines who nearly brought the country to its knees. I'd have done it for HALF your salary...
Ayrshire Labour MP Brian Donohoe, rebuked after a row at a delay in paying his wages, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘I had many a run-in with IPSA but I didn’t threaten anyone. I said they owed me £6,500 and if they didn’t pay it I’d sue them. Hey presto, I was paid in days.’Yup, threatening to sue someone isn't threatening anyone. Apparently.
I think it helps to be so completely divorced from reality that you are a Labour MP in the first place to be able to work by that kind of logic, though...
Even though the IPSA staff bent over backwards to assist, some of these dinosaurs couldn't adapt:
A two-hour lesson was arranged for Dennis Skinner to overcome his aversion to computers, but the veteran Labour Left-winger said: ‘I can’t bloody do this.’From a representative of a Labour government that computerised (at eye-watering cost, and usually to worse effect) every system that would hold still long enough, that must be worth some kind of chutzpah award!
Told his staff could do it for him, he said: ‘None of them use computers either. Why can’t we use paper like before? What a waste of money.’
Tempers flared when IPSA policy director John Sills had a two-hour showdown with massed Labour MPs that colleagues say left him ‘shaking with shock’.Like the Somme? Presumably, without the blood, mud, dysentery and enemy fire?
One said: ‘It was like the Somme. Poor John was a nervous wreck.’
The MPs demanded: ‘How much do you earn? Come on, tell us.’Funny you should mention rope. Rope was what sprang to mind as I was reading this...
As he defended an £85,000 salary, MPs (on £65,000) shouted: ‘That’s more than us.’
Pointing at wheelchair-bound Aberdeen Labour MP Anne Begg, MPs cried out: ‘Anne will never cope with the expenses cuts.’
Mr Sills pleaded with her: ‘But we’ve promised we’ll look after you, you know that don’t you?’
He said there was extra aid for disabled MPs but was drowned out. One MP quipped: ‘If we’d had a rope, he’d have been hanged.’
IPSA operations director Nigel Gooding objected to ‘aggressive’ comments when Mr Ainsworth told him to ‘stop screwing me around’ over constituency expenses cuts.Bob Ainsworth ought to be the best judge of who is incapable of doing a job. God knows, he only has to look in a mirror...
Today Mr Ainsworth said: ‘Mr Gooding promised to return my calls but never did. I told him it was unacceptable and he had no right to screw me around. He claimed that was abuse, so then he did get some abuse. He was incapable of doing the job.’