Douglas Carswell, UKIP’s solitary MP, did not miss and hit the wall today in the House of Commons when he tore into ‘Opposition parties’ over Short money.
Carswell told the house that “the sight of special pleading from political parties, wanting to get their hands on taxpayers cash is disgraceful” and called for much more transparency and accountability into where this money is spent.
“Short money is the common name given to the financial assistance for Opposition parties in the House of Commons. It is named after Edward Short who first proposed the payments.
Cranborne money is a similar scheme in the House of Lords, named after former Leader of the House of Lords, Viscount Cranborne.”
Carswell caused controversy immediately following the General Election, May 2015, when he refused to accept public-funded Short money due to UKIP of around £650,000. It seems he accepted around a third of the total, which was admirable but ultimately unpopular amongst UKIP hierarchy and supporters.
Today’s debate was in response to an ‘Urgent Question’ from Chris Bryant MP regarding ‘Short Money’.
Parliamentary Secretary, John Penrose MP, provided a brief statement and swatted away a barrage of questions, of varying factual credibility, in what appeared to be a clamouring from all opposition parties (with the notable exception of Douglas Carswell) to save their funding from any budgetary cuts.
Full debate from House of Commons 23/02/2016
References and further reading
- Short Money – Research Briefing Paper, Number 01663. House of Commons Library, 02/12/2015.
- Short money allocations: request for views. UK Gov Policy Paper, 18/02/2016.
- Q&A: How much Short money do parties get? BBC, 13/05/2015.
- George Osborne cuts £10million of state funding for Labour, SNP, Ukip, Greens. The Telegraph, 25/11/2015.
- Douglas Carswell in row with Ukip officials over £650,000 of public money. ITV News, 13/05/2015.