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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Rhondda MP apologises

The BBC reports that Rhondda MP and arch-Blairite, Chris Bryant, was one of the two Labour MPs behind the fundraising event where a copy of the Hutton report signed by Cherie Blair was auctioned. He has apologised and has said that no money will now be accepted for the sale of the report.

To be fair, this is an unusual failure of judgement for Chris Bryant, who is well-versed in the ways of the media. His only previous gaffe, posting a picture of himself in his underpants on a gay contact website, is well-documented but has more to do with the prurience of the media than any failing on his part.

Nevertheless, it is my view that in this case, the sheer insensitivity of auctioning off a signed copy of the Hutton report cannot be resolved by just an apology. Mr. Bryant holds a very junior but nevertheless responsible post in government as a PPS, I believe. He cannot be allowed to keep that role now.

Update: I have now confirmed that Chris Bryant has been PPS to Rt Hon Lord Falconer of Thoroton, Secretary of State, Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs since 10 November 2005. Hardly, a suitable act from somebody in that position. Just as seriously, I am told that there were a number of members of the Rhondda Labour Party at this fundraiser and they are less than amused. One of the reasons for their being upset is that David Kelly, whose death the Hutton report focuses on, came from the Rhondda.
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