Labour MP who defected to Lib Dems complains she’ll miss out on £22,000 payout – Today News

Labour MP who defected to Lib Dems complains she’ll miss out on £22,000 payout – Today News


 Angela Smith who defected to the Liberal Democrats has complained of missing out on a £22,000 taxpayer-funded golden goodbye if she loses at next month’s general election  Ms Smith, who has served as a Labour MP for the Penistone and Stocksbridge constituency for fourteen years, quit the party earlier this year    She is leaving her seat to stand in Altrincham and Sale West instead.  Ms Smith claims she is being “discriminated against” by Parliament’s expenses authorities because she will miss out on the two months’ salary MPs who lose their seats receive  The taxpayer-funded parachute payment is worth £22,000.  Because she is standing in a different constituency she will not receive the money if she loses  She said this amounted to her being “discriminated against” her because she claims she had no choice but to change party and change seats – because the Liberal Democrats have already selected a candidate  In a letter to the watchdog for MPs’ expenses and published by Buzzfeed the MP expressed her “horror” at realising that her decision to stand as a Lib Dem in a different constituency means she is no longer eligible for the winding-up payment for those who lose their seats in an election    “I cannot underestimate my horror in finding in the latest guidance these payments are only available if you stand in the same ‘seat’,” Smith told the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, adding: “The implications of this are terrifying ”  She went on: “As you can imagine being an MP for a considerable amount of time these payments provided some comfort in the event of losing on election day ”  “Given I had no option but to move to another party and then no option but to move to a vacant candidacy, I honestly consider I am being discriminated against ”  She continued: “To be honest it is terrifying me and cannot say loud enough that I feel aggrieved that after serving our country for last 14 1/2 years I could lose everything because of this rule that if implemented would cost me around £22,000 in loss of Office Payment and 2 months net pay ”  Responding on Twitter , Tara Jane O’Reilly, who works for the Tribune group of MPs, said: “Hilarious that Angela Smith is complaining about this – never seen her put up a fight for MP staffers who lose employment rights when they change MP, or heard a peep about all the MP staffers who are forced to take annual leave to work on their bosses election

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