Ian Junior claimed £10,000 in postage in his six last months in office…

Hmmm… First we had Inkgate, then Inkgate II … Now it’s the DUP’s turn to answer some awkward question regarding a spot of free riding by Ian Junior this time… According to Diana Rusk in today’s Irish News that equates to about 112 letters a day… In response the North Antrim MP said that that estimate would be about right, claiming that “I get 220 letters every single days. My post bag is incredibly heavy – ask my postman.”

That would be an impressive turnaround Ian… Inside the paper Ms Rusk also notes that in 2010, all of Sinn Fein’s 28 MLAs used 13,250 envelopes at a cost of £6,894.72… That’s just over half of Mr Paisley’s total.. Oh dear…

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  • Michael Shilliday

    There are roughly 250 working days in a year. If he gets 220 letters per day that is 55 thousand per year.

    That would mean Ian paisley Jnr is getting one letter from three quarters of the North Antrim electorate each year. Which seems unlikely.

  • Michael Shilliday

    That, by the way, is not one per household per year, it’s one per voter per year. Every year. And he is only replying to half of them. Apparently.

  • ranger1640

    That’s a lot of licking???

  • Dewi

    How does it work? I presume there’s a franking machine which records transactions?

  • I am not a constituent of Mr Paisley nor a DUP voter but he sent me TWO letters. So if he sends letters to non-constituents (and actually he replies very quickly) then fair play to him.

  • Someone close to me did a feature for the Uni Mag and approached the local parties, IPJ was by far the most helpful and the most considered in his responses and made a big impression.

  • Rory Carr

    In the House of Commons one uses (or at least used) the House embossed notepaper and envelopes and then just drops (or has one’s secretary drop) the outgoing mail into the House letter-box unstamped. Presumably a postal worker took care of the rest.

    If, as a member of the general public, one might have the use of one of the Committee Rooms to hold a meeting say in support of anti-apartheid or a an international friendship group such as the Nicaraguan Solidarity Campaign or somesuch, then copious amounts of this stationery was to hand at the desk one occupied and there was always (I imagine) the temptation to pop one’s own personal (or lots of group circulars) into a handy HoC enevelope and post them in the House post-box on the way out.

    In common with an other ellderly gentleman who attempted to use the House to his own ends, I cannot however recall if anyone actually took advantage of such a security lapse during meetings which I attended..

  • salgado

    articles
    I went to a comedy show recently (Richard Herring) which was advertised with quotes from IPJ denouncing it as crude and immature. He seems to get around.

  • Small beer! Oh, sorry: since we talk of good-living DUP-types, correct that to “amateur hour”.

    For a really effective operator, allow me to point to my local MP here in Norf Lunnun — the fragrant Lynne Featherstone. For those who believe the NI Assembly has a monopoly on human vapourware, our Lynne’s performances, as far as Quentin Letts is concerned, are the gift that keeps on giving. This follows Letts’s earlier explanation of Milady’s presence in the LibDim ministerial team: that she makes her party leader look good: “He is better at the despatch box than Lynne Featherstone, I grant you, but so is the average hamster.”

    When the Commons was changing the rules, back in early 2007, a member of Lynne’s staff had just been away with £22,000 worth of stationery. The lady herself — but, natch! — claimed ignorance. She was, over several years, among the higher claims for computers and office equipment. In hour of which, she was awarded some LibDem title of IT honour.

    Now, let’s see what Jnr’s Commons cheat- expenses-sheet looks like.

  • andnowwhat

    Maybe News International should hack Ian Og’s Ebay account?

  • carl marks

    I got 3 letters from him last year, one was a election manifesto (does that count in this total) the other two telling me how I could get in touch with him.
    My eldest got a birthday card on her 18th nice touch.

  • I can tell you from my own experience, that any MP spending up to 10,000 on postage or thousands more on ink etc., is most definitely taking liberties. I can guarantee that if those same people were running their own companies with an identical amount of work, print needs and correspondence, those costs would be far lower.

  • PaulT

    one man’s postage stamp is another man’s mini portrait of Her Majesty the Queen, it would be wrong to critizise IPJ for showing his loyality to the crown by putting up thousands of pictures of queen.

  • Framer

    I know from experience that an MP, let alone an MLA, gets at most an average of 20 letters a day that aren’t circulars.
    To take away £10,000 of stamped envelopes means Paisley was using them for propaganda purposes not for constituency responses.
    There is a word for that sort of needless expenses claim. Others have ended up in court for less.

  • I’ve just checked the register of MPs’ financial interests: MPs must register any financial or non-financial interests that might reasonably be thought to influence their actions.

    Our hero records “Nil”.

  • I can back up what Framer is saying there.

  • cynic2

    I am sure that the Standards Committee (who?) will be all; over this one and printergate. After all, the rest of MLAs are squeaky clean

    oink oink

  • Dewi

    “To take away £10,000 of stamped envelopes…”
    Is that how it works? You just ask for stamped envelopes? Daft process if that’s the case.