In the dog house
Where the important, Prime Ministerial, matters of state are announced:
Sounds like a telling off. A public telling off and a penalty. The PM is exerting some control here to bring his deputy into line and save him from himself.
Bill explains his politically untenable position, thus:
He's gone off and got a (certainly restrospective) QC's opinion that it's all OK. It means as much as a junky parent signing a note for their child saying they are allowed to sell P at school of course, but it's just one of many arse-covering manuoevres he has to undergo to make the double dip make legal sense now the Auditor-General is involved.
He has not received any housing allowance since July 28, when he paid back the difference between his previous ministerial allowance and the allowance for ordinary MPs.
In addition, he has today reimbursed Ministerial Services for all of the outstanding housing allowance he received since the election last November.
By revealing he hasn't been taking anything after July 28 we might conclude that he was waiting for the worst. The other thing that may have dawned is that to resume it meant receiving a lump sum and that would have also proved "distracting" - to use his word. Paying everything since the election back is deemed enough to draw a line under it in their book.
And he's not saying he's wrong! He's saying - effectively - the public are wrong for questioning him on it:
“At all times my decisions have been driven by my desire to keep my family together and provide them with as much stability as possible. It’s now clear that the system has struggled to deal with my circumstances."
Bill isn't wrong - we are - for not caring enough about his struggling family, trying to survive in the big smoke on a mere doctor's wages and a Deputy Prime Minister's salary. Bill didn't rort anything - the system screwed up.
"The system." The bloody system again, eh. Next he'll be telling us "The Man" has got it in for him.
Labour will keep sucking away at this as long as there's still any marrow left in that bone:The main damage has likely already been done - when English forced the PM's hand.