Sunlight Event – Conservative Conference 2009


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Sunlight Centre Event Tuesday 6th October 14:15 – 15:15 – Barborolli Room, THE FREEDOM ZONE, The Bridgewater Hall, Lower Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3WS

Panel Discussion on the Shadow Report into MP’s expenses

The Sunlight Centre released an independent report on the 21st September, with a foreword by Douglas Carswell MP, laying out a system to stop MPs’ abuse of expenses once and for all. With the Committee on Standard in Public Life’s official review due out soon, the Sunlight report, “Disinfecting Parliament” provides a tough, non-establishment benchmark by which to judge recommendations in Sir Christopher Kelly’s recommendations. Sir Christopher has been investigating reform of the expenses system and the Sunlight Centre report covers his remit and puts forward their recommendations for reform. The stripped-down and simplified expenses system recommended by Sunlight would include: 

  • Accommodation provided to MPs by Parliament in the Olympic Village.
  • A central MPs bank account with debit cards and full and instant publication of expenditure.
  • A provision for voters to get corrupt MPs out of Parliament with recall by-elections.
  • A reduction in perks and salaries for Ministers and their Shadows.
  • A purge of redundant bodies and streamlining of the expenses system.

The Sunlight Report ‘Disinfecting Parliament’ can be purchased via the Sunlight website for £10.00 through the link ‘Disinfecting Parliament All proceeds will go to help fund future projects at the Sunlight Centre for Open Politics.

On the panel for the the 6th October we have four very distinguished guests to discuss the stamping out MPs’ expenses abuse once and for all and whether Sunlight’s shadow suggestions have any validity compared to Sir Christopher Kelly’s review into MPs’ expenses Committee on Standards in Public Life.

John Rentoul:

John Rentoul is chief political commentator for The Independent on Sunday, and visiting fellow at Queen Mary, University of London, where he teaches contemporary history. Previously he was chief leader writer for The Independent. He has written a biography of Tony Blair, whom he admired more at the end of his time in office than he did at the beginning.

David Aaronivitch:
David Aaronivitch started his media career as a television researcher on ITV’s weekend world later becoming a producer. He moved to the BBC as founding editor of the On the Record in 1988. He moved over to print journalism in 1995, working for The Independent and Independent on Sunday as chief leader writer, television critic, parliamentary sketch writer and columnist until the end of 2002. He began contributing to The Guardian and The Observer in 2003, where he was a columnist and feature writer. Since June 2005, he has written a regular column for The Times and regularly writes columns for the Jewish Chronicle. He also presents or contributes to radio and television programmes, including the BBC’s Have I Got News For You and BBC News 24.

Paul Staines:

Political blogger better known as Guido Fawkes who has for the last five years taken a keen interest in the seamier side of parliament.

Mark Wallace:

Mark Wallace has been Campaign Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance since 2007. In that time, along with the TPA’s wider campaigns on public spending and taxation, he has been a prominent voice in the media calling for full transparency and firm reform of MPs’ expenses and allowances. Along with the TPA’s Chief Executive, Matthew Elliott, he gave evidence to Sir Christopher Kelly’s inquiry into the future of MPs’ expenses. Before joining the TaxPayers’ Alliance he worked for The Freedom Association, campaigning for individual freedom and against political correctness, ID cards and the EU.

Chris Galley (Chairman):

Chris is the Research Director at the Sunlight Centre.


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