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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 December 2005, 11:26 GMT
MP pay rise demand reports denied
Ann Clwyd
Ms Clwyd said Conservative and Labour MPs had discussed pay
Reports MPs were demanding a 22% pay rise have been denied by the leader of Labour's backbench MPs, Ann Clwyd.

Ms Clwyd confirmed senior Labour MPs had met privately with senior Tories on the 1922 Committee to discuss salaries.

But she dismissed reports MPs wanted a rise 10 times the rate of inflation, saying no figures were mentioned.

Shadow Chancellor George Osborne told the BBC's Sunday AM programme MPs' salaries should to be determined by an independent panel.

"It's crazy to let MPs or indeed anyone else decide their own salaries," he said.

"This should be set by the same people civil service pay, teacher's pay, and so on. Indeed I'd like us linked to a particular teaching grade or civil service grade".

'No figure'

Mr Osborne and the Europe Minister Douglas Alexander both told Sunday AM presenter Andrew Marr they would vote against such a pay increase.

"We need responsibility as MPs if we are asking for responsibility from other people," Mr Alexander said.

Ms Clywd, chairwoman of the Parliamentary Labour Party, has confirmed talks with senior Conservative backbenchers took place.

"We discussed several issues of interest to MPs, like pensions and also the Senior Salaries Review Body, but no figure was discussed," she said.

'Wrong signal'

The Mail on Sunday had reported that Labour and Conservative MPs wanted a 22% pay rise over two years, bringing their basic pay up to 72,000.

It said the demand followed a 2001 recommendation by the Senior Salaries Review Body that MPs salaries be brought into line with senior workers in the public and private sectors.

It is not any old job. We are the legislators of the nation
Anthony Steen
Conservative MP

Conservative MP Anthony Steen told the paper: "One of the reasons the Commons lacks quality MPs is because the pay is not enough to attract the best people."

He denied he was demanding a pay rise but said: "Most MPs are terrified to speak about this but think they should be paid commensurate with their duties as an MP.

"It is not any old job. We are the legislators of the nation."

Liberal Democrat spokesman Vince Cable said: "A 22% rise would send completely the wrong signal at a time when many people are being subjected to considerable pay restraint."





SEE ALSO:
Commons chairmen to get pay hike
13 Jul 05 |  UK Politics
Blair and MPs to get 2% pay rise
12 Feb 04 |  UK Politics
Clwyd becomes Labour's new chair
24 May 05 |  UK Politics


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