Oh dear. It would appear that Omar‘s boss has been ticked off again.
Last autumn, Emily Thornberry sent out what emerges came to 10,400 unsolicited letters to constituents using Commons stationary. Following a flurry of complaints, the Parliamentary Standards Officer Sir Philip Mawer has written to confirm that the cost of this stationary will now have to be paid back:
â€œIt is clear to me that Ms Thornberry should not have used pre-paid envelopes at all for this exercise (since her letter was unsolicited) but should have covered the cost of the stationery and envelopes and the postage required directly, either from her Communications Allowance or out of her own pocket.â€
â€œShe has indicated that she will reimburse the cost of the pre-paid envelopes she used and I have asked her to do this.â€
This whole adventure is estimated to have cost her around Â£4,250.
Of course, the “unwise” Ms Thornberry has form. Still, could be worse. At least she didn’t back Peter Hain in the deputy leadership contest!
UPDATE: Following my latest Swinsongate story, Young Labour have airbrushed their news story out of existence. This is at least better than retrospectively turning it into a different story entirely.
Last night I asked people to sign up to the Leyton By-election page on Flock Together. I’m happy to report that just over 12 hours later, the target (5) has been reached.
Can we get it up to 10 by the end of the weekend? Sign up here.
I’m planning to be there over the weekend and will issue a field report.
Three weeks on from the original Swinsongate and Young Labour are still claiming the veracity of the story on the front page of their national website.
Of course, this puts Omar Salem in the uncomfortable position of having one version of the press release on the national website and another, contradictory, version on the London website.
Just to recap: Jo Swinson a) has never been the party’s youth affairs spokesperson and b) has never been LDYS’s Chair. To top it all, she’s been promoted, not sacked, and so has Jenny Willott (who is now the martyr in the London Young Labour version).
None of this exactly suggests that Young Labour is a vibrant, go-getting organisation these days, does it?