Friday, December 19, 2008

Has the Minister for Wales just misled Parliament?

Last year I did a post about the spending on Christmas parties by the Wales Office and Scotland Office. It was based upon a question by Phillip Hammond and was answered by Peter Hain stating that from 2004 to 2007 the Wales Office spent £9,346.57 on Christmas parties.

Imagine my surprise then when I saw this response from the current Secretary of State for Wales to a question from Grant Shapps MP about how much the Wales Office had spent on Christmas parties in the last five years.
Mr. Paul Murphy: The Wales Office does not contribute to departmental parties or staff entertainment.
Can someone, anyone, explain to me how last year the Wales Office was able to say it was spending money on Christmas parties but this year they say they don't spend any at all? Was Peter Hain making the figures up? Or is Paul Murphy misleading the House in order to look frugal?

Questions, questions, questions!


................................. said...

They're all liars.

Alex said...

I guess it depends what you include in "departmental parties and staff entertainment". They could eaily blow a few grand on entertaining their favourite hacks, hangers on and senior civil servants at Christmas and avoid calling it "departmental parties and staff entertainment".

Word verificattion is "vackyw", which is probably Welsh for "You might as well take your question and and stick it down a coal mine because I'm not going to give you a straight answer".

Anonymous said...

Hain was talking about Christmas parties held by the department for journalists and other externals, the Murphy answer was about staff parties.

I think that's the distinction anyway.

Anonymous said...

More importantly, nice picture

Anonymous said...

I'll pay £9,346.57 to attend whatever party she's at!