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« Heather Brooke: your right to know | Main | Dissolve this rat-infested parliament »

Do not publicly bully this woman

Margaret Moran, Labour MP for Luton South, is the woman who, according to the Telegraph, "renovated three properties at taxpayers' expense" including a home in Southampton which is 100 miles from her constituency and two hours' drive from Westminster.

Today the paper reported that Moran has a fourth property - this one in Spain - where she allegedly "tried to block villagers' access to their own houses":

Margaret Moran bulldozed a pathway across her holiday property in Granada and put up gates, to the annoyance of her neighbours. However, a judge said the access was a public right of way and ordered her to reopen it.

Miss Moran was accused of breaching parliamentary rules by pinning a notice to her gatepost [in Granada] using official House of Commons paper. When the story appeared in the British press, Miss Moran contacted leading media solicitors then claimed her £881.25 bill back on her office expenses.

If I am following Moran's exploits with more than usual interest it's because I was already familar with her name.

For the past few months I have been in regular contact with Sean Spillane, who runs a working men's club in Luton. Sean has joined the fight to amend the smoking ban and he is helping us with our forthcoming Save Our Pubs & Clubs campaign.

A few weeks ago Sean invited me to address a meeting of publicans in Luton. En route he told me all about Margaret Moran, his local MP, and the battle he has had with her since she reneged on Labour's election promise to exempt private members' clubs and voted for a comprehensive smoking ban.

Sean is a lifelong Labour voter. On 28 October 2008 Moran wrote to him as follows:

Dear Sean Spillane,

I refer to your most recent letter regarding the smoking ban. The contents are noted, however I refer you to my previous reply on this subject, particularly the evidenced health benefits of the ban.

As MPs we are elected to weigh in the balance the greater good for our constituents, and it is for this reason that I wholly support the current policy. No amount of public bullying of the sort you indulge in will change my position.

I also understand that the constitution for working men's clubs mandates that they are not party political. I therefore understand that your public statements have been referred to the relevant governing bodies.

Yours sincerely,

Margaret Moran MP
Labour MP for Luton South

The reference to "public bullying" seems to relate to a number of readers' letters written by Sean and published in his local paper, the Luton News. So, it's all right to ignore an election manifesto commitment and support a far more draconian piece of legislation, but when constituents fight back it's called "public bullying".

Moran probably thinks she is being publicly bullied over her outrageous expense claims. Fortunately, thanks to the taxpayer, she's got a bolthole in Southampton where she can escape with her husband.

PS. On The Politics Show on BBC1 on Sunday Moran argued that her family life was essential to her job, implying that the Southampton house, which she owns with her husband, is an important part of that family life. I'd love a weekend retreat too. In fact it's so essential to my mental health/family life/ability to do my job, I think I'll put it on expenses.

Reader Comments (11)

I felt nothing but contempt when I watched Moran trying to justify her behaviour on The Politics Show. She bristled with righteous indignation at being questioned, defensive and petulant. She indulges in greedy, grubby behaviour yet sanctimoniously sets herself up as arbiter of our behaviour - and deals with a constituent in the high-handed manner typical of NuLabour.

And isn't it just sooo NuLabour to address a consituent as 'Sean Spillane' instead of the more courteous 'Mr Spillane'!!

May 12, 2009 at 18:55 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

Apart from a nice relaxing country retreat, or even better, a home in Spain where I can smoke in bars and restaurants, perhaps money for the Mental Health side of the NHS would not go amiss! I might then, at least, have had some form of counselling or psychotherapy by now!

The wonderful, cure all, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is a waste of money, unless it is phased out over time for the patients, as an intensive course that stops so abruptly, no doubt because of lack of funds, leaves many more confused and worse off than they were beforehand!

I have said before and I will say again, even though I lost my job in January due to being a smoker, although this could have been an underhand way of getting rid of me because of my depression, but that would not have been PC or even allowed, I am still working, albeit temping. I have asked for therapy outside of normal working hours so that my mental health issues do not affect my working relationships. Now that I am temping, I have had to agree to being seen during working hours, but I will be the one who is not paid for that time I am not at work, however, I can't claim any of that loss back. Bet Ms Moran would have found a way though, had she been in my shoes!

Being a politician, I had naively thought, was to represent largely what your consitituents want to see done, wherever practical, not to line your own pockets and essentialy give 2 fingers to those who voted for you!

It is time to start again from scratch, get rid of those who are currently sitting pretty in the House of Commons or wherever, that is the whole lot of labour, conservatives and lib dems and start again with a party that actually believes in doing the job for the benefit of the country and the people within it, not for their own ends. The current lot are too entrenched in their current lifestyles to change and will still find ways around robbing us all blind, while we struggle to pay bills and afford any little luxury, they will still spend as much of our hard earned cash for their own ends as they can get their grubby little hands on.

There is one place I would be happy to fund for most of this lot to stay and that is Prison,most of them no doubt deserve it!

May 12, 2009 at 19:13 | Unregistered CommenterLyn

From the photo, Margaret Moran looks to be a bit on the clinically obese side. Another case of do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do?

May 12, 2009 at 19:16 | Unregistered Commenteridlex

Idlex - perhaps too much pigging out in the canteen:

May 12, 2009 at 19:30 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

“No amount of public bullying of the sort you indulge in will change my position”.

Intresting comment from Moran ( or should that be moron ) .Smokers have been victims of public bullying for a long time now . In moast comment sections of smoking realated news articles there is allways one oe two anti’s posting some quite nasty comments aimed at smokers. Smokers have been called such things as child abusers or murders , even some have gone as low to put smokers on the same level as peadophiles.

If Moran thinks that constituents constituents writing to her voicing their oppersition of the ban is ‘public bullying’ then she must lead an easy life.

May 12, 2009 at 21:14 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

Sean can now draw Ms Moran's attention to the victory over the smoking ban in Holland where they have a better sense of proportion. See:

May 12, 2009 at 22:39 | Unregistered CommenterBlad Tolstoy

although she said that she needs a family life with her partner who lives in Southampton,is it correct that he is on the electoral role in Luton?

May 13, 2009 at 9:53 | Unregistered Commentermoranwatcher

Moranwatcher - Iain Dale did a search of online electoral roll data and discovered that Moran's partner was registered as a Luton voter. In addition, it was found that Companies House gives his home address as Luton.

Quite aside from the disgraceful attitude to expenses, MPs clearly believe that they are different to us little people. For example:

' ... particularly the evidenced health benefits of the ban.

As MPs we are elected to weigh in the balance the greater good for our constituents...'

If this is true for us, why then did the Commons exempt their own premises from the smoking legislation?

May 13, 2009 at 11:03 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Levett

When I was in the Civil Service, if you got posted and were eligible to have your house removal expenses paid, there were very strict rules as to where you could live, one of which was that the home should be within one hour's travel by public transport from your place of work. Surely any MP's claim for a second home should only apply to a home within a similar distance from parliament and not to a home in their constituency or elsewhere.

May 13, 2009 at 11:41 | Unregistered CommenterBrian E.

Im not above bullying when it is deserved..
So here is some bullying .
"Sheesh", she even looks like a Fat Pig.
ps did you see Blairs fat butt on that motorbike clip.
Put me off food for days.

May 13, 2009 at 13:55 | Unregistered CommenterMcgraw

Oh boo hoo hoo puir picked-on Maggie Moron. Oh boo hoo fucking hoo for the troughing porker-parasite. This bloated puritan-piggy should be up before the courts. She may then get the protection she feels she deserves from her constituents.

May 13, 2009 at 19:47 | Unregistered CommenterBasil Brown

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