Friday, August 31, 2012
Labour MP Diane Abbott rakes in £6,712 for eight appearances on BBC’s This Week; public complaint sees number to be cutback, sour grapes indeed!
For many many years, we have seen politicians appear on TV regularly; Labour MP Diane Abbott who represents Hackney is one such person.
She is a regular on the BBC and particularly the television programme This Week hosted by Andrew Neil.
It’s a great show and she works well in the format with Andrew and ex Conservative MP Michael Portillo.
The show is a combination of gossip, comedy and highlight of going on in the Westminster Village, Europe and elsewhere.
Every appearance however of Diane Abbott is at a cost to the taxpayer since the BBC is funded by us.
For Abbott, This Week is like an ATM machine dishing out a ready source of cash to her onto of her MP’s salary.
It’s like a little cottage industry in some respects, now things have changed as the BBC has been ordered to stop paying Labour MP Diane Abbott so much.
She does make a packet by political show This Week more than £6,000 in appearance fees.
This situation apparently didn’t sit well with a member of the public who filed a complaint which was taken up by BBC Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee.
They did an investigation and the upshot is that they have upheld a complaint by a member of the public.
The committee says her appearances on the show have been “too frequent” since her promotion to the Labour front bench. When Diane Abbott was promoted to the front bench, she lost her regular slot on the show, and a regular cash cow, I was surprised because she makes a much better backbencher than a potential minister. However if Labour get back into power, she would get a ministerial salary short term loss for long term gain?
A risk but a reasonable gamble given the coalition is in trouble specifically the Lib Dems, their voters have deserted them.
In only eight appearances, she made £6,712 which is impressive stuff but it really does pale into insignificance to what she raked in as a regular on the show.
I suspect that the complaint against her is more to do with the number of appearances on the show than the cash, and in fairness to This Week she is a known entity to the producers and the public.
Sour grapes it seems might spoil the Blue Nun vintage but she will be back!
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University