Wednesday, 27 January 2010

David Heyes Claimed on "illegal" Website

Many of you may not know, but Ashton-under-Lyne MP, David Heyes has a website located here. David claimed the £1838.88 cost as part of his Communications Allowance in 2008.

However the site has been left untouched since its inception with the news and press releases pages going empty. Despite the waste of money, the site breaches several rules in the "The Communications Allowance and the use of House stationery" rule book which can be read on from page 25:

7. You must not use your website:

• to encourage people to join a particular political party.
• to publish or promote any publication, unless it meets the rules.

8. In order to maintain a clear distinction between your website, which is financed from public funds, and any other domain, you must make a clear distinction between your site and any site to which links are provided. You may do this by taking users through a page that confirms they are leaving your website, or by requiring them to acknowledge it through a pop-up form.

Linking to the Labour Party homepage - a political site which encourages people to join and donate to the Labour Party as well as attacking other parties is in breach of the rules above. None of the links on the links page give any warning that you are leaving the website.

20. The use of party logos should be restricted to proportionate and discrete use.

As you can see in the header of the website, the Labour Rose features quite prominently throughout the site.

I am told that David Heyes could of paid for a website himself from the Labour Party for just £250 a year. This is used by neighboring MPs James Purnell and Andrew Gwynne. This would of allowed him to have published whatever political content he wanted along with the Labour Party logo as well as saving the taxpayer money.
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