Wednesday, 29 August 2012

When is an interest not an interest?

Last week I commented on the meeting between Peter Hain and David Cameron at which Hain was attempting to enlist the Prime Minister’s support for the building the Severn barrage.  I still have my doubts about the whole proposal, and there was a column in the Sunday Times this weekend written by Charles Clover (hidden behind their paywall I’m afraid) which he also expressed a number of reservations about the proposal.
I’ve also expressed my concern about the way in which an MP elected to serve the people of his constituency seems to have decided that he will, in fact, spend a large part of his time and energy using his influence, and campaigning, on behalf of a private consortium seeking to develop a major infrastructure project.  In that context, Clover’s article included the following sentence “He says it will bring him personally no benefit – although his wife, Elizabeth Haywood, is an adviser to the company”.  If this is indeed true, it puts rather a different gloss on Hain’s claim about the lack of a ‘personal’ interest.


Anonymous said...

It's a tough one. In Wales his involvement is probably preventing some people from supporting the project. But they don't need support in Wales (though they'd like it) as much as they do from the UK Government, where Hain is not seen as that controversial a figure.

Glyndo said...

Pension fund?

Unknown said...

As we know from his campaign expenses fiasco, Hain's grasp on what constitutes a 'financial interest' is somewhat fuzzy.