Friday, 19 February 2010

James Purnell Quits

The MP for Stalybridge & Hyde, James Purnell has decided to call it a day after months of speculation he was going to resign as an MP after calling for Gordon Brown to resign back in June 2009.

This has come as a sigh of relief for his constituents who are sick of him going AWOL from his constituency and to only turn up for token visits and photo opportunities. However, his activists are infuriated with this decision as what can be described as being shat on from a great height after months of campaigning to push Purnell to get reelected.

Purnell is somewhat controversial in the area after being parachuted into Stalybridge & Hyde by Tony Blair after what was described as a safe seat for Labour under the wing of Lord Tom Pendry, who managed to hold on to the seat when Thatcher swung into power in 1979. Since then Purnell has managed to decrease the majority what Labour had and increase voter apathy with his constantly high expenses which he leads the way for being one of the UK's most expensive MP's.

Last year, Purnell got a £36,130 "Golden Goodbye" for resigning as a cabinet minister. By retiring as an MP he is set to receive yet more money in the form of a "resettlement grant" from the House of Commons worth 50 to 100% of his salary as an MP. The first £30,000 of the grant is tax free and is meant to help MP's to adjust to "non parliamentary life" the real world. Many MPs are having to forfeit this money due to abusing the Parliamentary expenses system. We intend to expose Purnell's expenses over the coming months so he gets fuck all.

One of the big questions over Purnell's expenses was over his primary household which he claims was in Broadbottom. This is nothing more than a shed which has been left empty and in a decrepit state over the years until it was recently refurbished over the Summer. The rules over the additional costs allowance is that MPs must live in their primary household for more than 183 days a year in order to claim for a second property; for which Purnell near enough claims £2,500 a month rent for an apartment in London. It will be interesting to see how quickly his "home" is put on the market...

The Labour twitterati across Manchester are pushing Cllr. Jonny Reynolds in Longdendale to put his hat into the ring for a speedy selection. Reynolds was a former Vice Chair of Labour Students and a columnist for Progress Online - so he carries some weight behind him.

Stalybridge and Hyde has become a marginalized seat since the last local elections with the Conservatives outpolling Labour by over 1,000 votes. This would mean Stalybridge & Hyde would have its first Conservative MP since 1937. Rob Adlard, who lives in the constituency is the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Conservatives.
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