MP Patrick Mercer who has resigned the Tory whip to "save my party embarrassment" after claims by the BBC's Panorama that he broke Parliament's lobbying rules. has a interesting past.
In 2010 he was alleged to have abandoned Sarah Coyle, a House of Commons secretary, after she spent thousands on furnishings for the Hertfordshire property..
It is alleged he accepted £4,000 to lobby for business interests in Fiji.
Mr Mercer said he was taking legal advice and had referred himself to Parliament's standards commissioner.
The Newark MP said he took the money for consultancy work outside parliament. He added he would not be standing at the next general election.
The fake company, Alistair Andrews Communications, had claimed to lobby on behalf of Fijian business interests for Fiji to be re-admitted to the Commonwealth.Continue reading the main story“Start QuoteIf it's bad enough for you to resign from your party, how can it be OK to continue representing constituents at all? ”Zac GoldsmithConservative MPThe country's membership was suspended in 2009 amid criticism of its human rights' record and lack of democracy.As jaxxlander points out this would have led to moves to recall Mercer who has said he would stand down in 2015 under under proposals were originally included in the coalition agreement but which seemed to have been put on the back burner.
A clip of Mr Mercer being filmed undercover has been released by Panorama. It shows the MP meeting with an undercover reporter, who was posing as a representative of the fake company.
Mr Mercer can be heard saying: "I do not charge a great deal of money for these things. I would normally come out at £500 per half day, so £1,000 a day."
The undercover reporter replies: "Ok fine.
Still he has jumped rather than pushed but has saved Cammeron a embarrassing byelection by clinging on to 2015 . In the same manner as Eric Joyce who has resigned the Labour Wgip after numerous incidents allegedly fuelled by alcohol saves Labour leader Ed Miliband the possibility of a SNP victory in Falkirk.
Still at least the public can have a say at elections if they decide to stand after all.
What can the General Public do about T the Three Peers One Ulster Unionist and two Labour - were caught offering to ask parliamentary questions and lobby ministers in return for cash. who are believed to have referred themselves to the watchdog.
We can't recall them, They have no electorate to answer to and probably wil not be expelled from the House.
But the worrying thing is How many MPs and Lords are on the take? Asking Questions not on behalf of their Constituents or the UK in general but because some one has paid them to do so.
We need a registration of Lobbyists but also a means of removing elected from the Parliament or Assemblies if they have betrayed their position in such a way as the BBC-Telegraph "Sting" appears to show,