Margaret Hodge: an admirable Chair of the Public Accounts Committee
By chance, tuning into the BBC Parliament channel’s televised proceedings of 18th March scrutinising the ‘Use of NHS Consultants and Severance Clauses’ went some way to restoring confidence in the calibre of MPs, so sadly shaken by the foolish & loutish behaviour of many in Prime Minister’s Questions and the less than statesmanlike performances of the prime minister and leader of the opposition.
Above all, this restoration was compelled by Margaret Hodge as Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, incisively holding Sir David Nicholson and others to account, quoting the relevant sections of the Treasury’s “Managing Public Money” which lay down “some specific rules and conventions about how certain things are handled”and never letting the prevaricators ‘off the hook’.
The exchanges recorded were from Q149- Q184 in an uncorrected transcript in Hansard: MANAGEMENT OF HOSPITAL CONSULTANTS AND TERMINATION AGREEMENTS IN THE NHS.
The rare accolade of ‘admirable politician’ has been given on this website to three people:
- Liberal Democrat MP Andrew George for his years leading the campaign to create a watchdog to protect smaller farmers and growers from the unethical practices of supermarket buyers,
- Old Labour stalwart Tony Benn – quoting from his 2011 Salter Lecture
- and the similarly principled and eloquent former Respect Party leader, Salma Yacoob.
Three other admirable MPs from the Conservative, Green and Labour parties, respectively, will be featured in due course.