Labour MPs "caught red-handed" sharing quotes


In the old New Labour days it was sometimes said that party bosses trusted their MPs so little they even wrote identical press releases for them. All the keen backbencher had to do was to insert his or her name between the phrase "local MP" and "said".

But that was then. These days Labour has cast aside the old control freak tendencies associated with its tenure of Millbank Tower. Or has it?

A press release on pensions arrived this morning from Welsh Labour HQ in the name of the Llanelli MP, Nia Griffith, Owen Smith's deputy in the shadow Wales Office team. "Once again," said Ms Griffith, "Ministers have been caught with their hands in pensioners' pockets."

If that sounded familiar, it was probably because the quotes were almost identical to those issued (on the same subject) by Owen Smith, yesterday. "Once again," said Mr Smith, "Ministers have been caught with their hands in pensioners' pockets."

Ms Griffith said: "Ministers have been caught red-handed hiding the truth on pensions reforms."

Mr Smith said: "Ministers have been caught red-handed hiding the truth on pensions reforms."

The only differences in the quotes are down to the inclusion of data for Mr Smith's constituency; Ms Griffith included data for Wales as a whole.

The main quote first appeared in a press release issued by Labour's pensions spokesman earlier this month - as reported in The Independent two weeks ago. All further sightings gratefully received.

Great minds thinking alike? A powerful display of on-message unity from Labour? Or have they been caught red-handed - and presumably a little red-faced?

David Cornock Article written by David Cornock David Cornock Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

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  • rate this

    Comment number 21.

    Just to confuse things with a few facts
    The House of Commons expenses row was about MPs filing false claims.
    The House of Lords appears to believe that its members are gentlemen, and does not seek, or record, details of what the expenses relate to. It is not clear that there are any rules.
    Whilst few could have greater distaste for another bunch of politicians, I don't know of major fraud by AMs

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    You could say the same about the House of Lords. EXPENSES.!! Wasn't there an expenses row in Westminster recently or is that different because they are in London and they are the good guys

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    Inactive sloths? The sloth only sleeps 10 hours a day, the Koala sleeps for 18. The average AM sleeps for 23 using the other hour to file expenses.

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    Alfsplace (16)

    Alf. Totally agree with you ! The 5 years additional worktime before your wife can retire is all happening way too fast

    It appears that all this equality/work extension malarky has been hurried and ill thought out

    My wife was due to retire back in Dec 2011 now has to wait until Sept 2013.

    Still, that's nowhere near as bad as your wife's compulsory 5 year work "extension"

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    #11 it could be the £66k jobs for the assistants that will have that money and why does he say that the money is for 40 PCSO;s when Carwyn was trumpeting the provision of 500 last year for this year!!!!


Comments 5 of 21



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