On 12th December 2019, two Ealing Tory councillors were elected as MPs, Joy Morrissey (for Beaconsfield) and Alex Stafford (for Rother Valley). Both councillors now represent constituencies outside of London and appear to have attended one meeting between them since the election.
Their respective entries in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests state that Cllr Stafford will be working for a paltry 10 hours a month for Ealing residents, while Cllr Morrissey will be working for 15 hours a week.
Local people in Rother Valley are understandably upset that their new MP isn’t committed to representing them in parliament and continues to take an allowance from a constituency 150 miles away. The most recent issue of the Rotherham Advertiser has reported the story as, “MP denies greedy jibe in row over his councillor role” and carries a letter from an exasperated constituent who notes that Cllr Stafford hasn’t even committed to living in Rotherham.
Councillor Julian Bell, Labour Leader of Ealing Council, said:
“Alex Stafford and Joy Morrissey should have resigned as Ealing Councillors as soon as they were elected as MPs for constituencies outside of Ealing.
“I was particularly shocked to find that Alex Stafford has pledged to spend a paltry 10 hours a month working for Ealing residents. This amounts to about £150 an hour, if he bothers to turn up! Stafford has already effectively abandoned the scrutiny committee he chairs and receives an allowance for, leaving his Labour vice chair to step into the role.
“Ealing residents deserve better than absent Tory councillors taking public money. Cllrs Morrissey and Stafford must resign immediately and let local people elect new representatives who are actually committed to Ealing.”
Notes to editors:
- At a Full Council meeting on 17th December – where both new Tory Councillor MPs were absent – the Leader of the Council Julian Bell called on both to resign so new candidates can be elected to properly represent Ealing residents.
- The absence of Cllr Stafford has been noted in the minutes of a scrutiny meeting, “The Committee noted its concerns that the Chair of Panel 4 (Leisure) had not been engaging with the work of the Panel; meaning the Vice Chair had been required to stand in for him.” – Minutes of Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Thursday 9th January.
- Cllr Stafford’s Register entry can be found here: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmregmem/200111/stafford_alexander.htm