Saturday, May 07, 2005

the election

The blog has been a little neglected over the past few weeks as I competed with four very able candidates for the privilege of representing Monmouth in Parliament. I was delighted with the result and sincere in wanting to pay tribute in my acceptance speech to the others, particularly Huw Edwards the former MP and Phil Hobson the current Mayor of Chepstow.

Many times I was asked what I would do about my position as the Assembly Member if elected, and my answer was that I would be standing down by the time of the next Assembly election. Contrary to comments from some Labour MPs this does not mean that I continue to collect an Assembly Members salary although I receive an extra allowance for the workload this entails.

This therefore means that I am currently saving the taxpayers quite a lot of money. (Although I suspect it will be wasted on something else anyway!)

The other comment was that I would be “doing two jobs”. In fact most of an AMs time is not spent in the chamber of the Assembly at all – this amounts to only 7 hours per week. The rest is spent dealing with constituency casework, problems raised in surgeries, fighting local campaigns and much else besides. All of this work is identical for an MP representing the same area.

The Labour MPs who have criticised should consider the fact that their Ministers have to take on a full time extra job which has nothing to do with their work as an MP, and for which they are paid an enormous salary on top of their MPs wage. Does Peter Hain neglect his duties as the MP for Neath because of his Ministerial posts? Perhaps he could tell us.

I suspect that we will hear more calls for my immediate resignation from the Assembly, but unless I am being a little cynical those making them will be more interested in the opportunity that an expensive by-election might present for themselves or their political party rather than considering the interests of those who live here.

Meanwhile I look forward to beginning work in Westminster first thing Monday morning, and perhaps to enlightening bloggers as to what it is like to be a newly elected MP.


Blogger C said...

Congratulations on winning the elction. I am sure you will continue to do a good job for the people of Monmouth.

Keep up the good work on the blog, I look forward to reading about your experiences at Westminster.


4:45 PM  
Blogger Rhys Wynne said...


1:59 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

Congratulations on your triumph, good sir. This was my first election, and I was pleased to see the Conservatives take Monmouth back (stayed up til 3 to see the result announced). I, too, look forward to reading about the trials and tribulations of being an MP.

8:16 AM  

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