Current Affairs

Husband of former minister who introduced civil partnerships ‘was paid £5,000 for advice’

Jessica Geen May 26, 2009
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Former Deputy Equality Minister Meg Munn, who was responsible for introducing civil partnerships, has been caught up in the latest round of the expenses scandal.

Her husband Dennis Bates, who is also her paid parliamentary assistant, was paid more than £5,000 of taxpayers’ money provide tax advice to four government ministers.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Foreign Secretary David Miliband was one minister who used Mr Bates’ services and recouped the money on expenses.

Others were Gillian Merron, John Healey and Jim Knight, along with Sheffield MP Angela Smith. Miss Munn, the MP for Sheffield Heeley, also paid her husband for his advice.

In a statement, Foreign Office Minister Mrs Merron, local government minister Mr Healey, schools minister Mr Knight and Sheffield Hillsborough MP Angela Smith said no rules were broken.

The statement added: “Dennis Bates worked for 12 years for the Inland Revenue, specialising in the tax affairs of small businesses and is eminently qualified to provide advice.”

Miss Munn has not commented on the reports but her spokesman said she supported the statement.

Last week, Miss Munn published her expenses claims on her website.

She has been a vocal supporter of gay rights and spoke at the launch of The Pink News, the paper version of which was launched in 2006.

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