How many people are paid by the £88,468 Parliamentary staffing allowances claimed by current Rochdale MP Paul Rowen?
"BOGOFF" seems to be the reply when constituents ask politely.
The Public Whip also suggests Paul is "ambiguous" on the whole issue of transparency of expenses. Very slow in his motions with multiple no-shows to vote the Bill through - but a canny jump on the bandwagon when the MP's expenses “sheet heet da fan” last month.
Paul Rowen appears confused about how many people work for him.
Curiously, an article that made references to staffing numbers on Rochdale Online, published on April Fool's Day, has now disappeared. Instead is a new article published this month.
And Paul Rowen's website (paid for by taxpayer's) now appears to have airbrushed out past descriptions of his staff and bulging casework mailsacks.
However, the Rochdale Observer doesn't seem to meddle as much with its internet content.
On 4th April Paul Rowen gave an account of his staffing levels:
"My expenses have risen because I have taken on two extra part-time workers to cope with demand. I employ a researcher in London and three full-time and two part-time staff at my office in Drake Street."
So there we have it. Clear as mud.
RAW asked about Paul Rowen's staffing levels late last year.
We now know that the new Mayoress, Sue Etchells, has been described by Paul as his "PA".
Dave Hennigan describes himself as Paul's "Agent" and that Rochdale Lib Dem councillors refused to pay him any longer out of their contributions of taxpayer funded council "allowances".
So those are two full-timers at Drake Steet that can be accounted for. Just how much more money Dave gets than Sue isn't certain. It is rumoured that the amount Paul [sic] pays (we pay) for Dave is "off the scale".
So who is, according to Paul Rowen, the third full-timer at Drake Street?
Surely not Adam Power? The International Lib Dem man of mystery? Paul catagorically denied that he employed Adam. He had to given that the Sergeant at Arms threatened to give him a right roasting because of Adam's cunning plan to tell the media that Tony Lloyd allegedly denied a quote attributed in the Mirror criticising Cyril Smith.
The cunning plan backfired. Former asbestos worker Tony Lloyd MP DID openly criticise Cyril Smith. The Mirror got a BOGOFF with not one, but two national articles exposing Cyril Smith's unrepentant and shameful attitude toward dying asbestos cancer victims.
Adam Power was given a special mention by Kevin Maguire. Like a true leader, Paul Rowen denied any involvement with "Adam Who"? Despite poor Adam telling his MySpace chums that he was an "intern for an MP".
[quote] "Do you agree with the Labour Parliamentary Candidate's view that we should holt our much needed town centre redevelopment plans?
("Halt" not "Holt" Adam- that's 6 'stingers' and a wet sponge for you young man!)
Paul Rowen also received £6000 of taxpayers cash for a £15,000 envelope stuffing machine for his Drake Strett office. Is that any way to describe poor Master Power?
So, who are the pair of Rochdale part-timers?
Former "conviction" politician John Hayworth?
John Swarbrick? The "scruffy old man" seen loitering with a cunningly disguised Adam Power taking photographs of mysterious grafitti at Rochdale Labour Party HQ?
The same photos that mysteriously appeared on Dave Ottewell's blog? Is this a good use of taxpayer's money from Parliamentary staffing allowances?
Similar shenanighans with "persons unknown" hacking into to Rochdale DLP's open door website and changing the photo of Gordon Browen with one of the Milliband's during the 2008 Labour Conference? Dave Hennighan then boasting of the triumph of a coloumn inch in the Daily Express about it? Is this yet another example of taxpayer's money being spent wisely on Mr Rowen's Rochdale constituency office?
So Paul Rowen's Rochdale staff remain named, even though we are paying for them.
However, something very curious is going on in Westminster.
Paul suggested to the Observer that he had ONE "researcher" at Westminster.
One, Uno, Une, Eine, 1.
But, according to the Parliament Publications, Paul Rowen has TWO employed by him in Westminster.
How can Paul Rowen be that forgetful? Is that why recent statements about his staffing levels have curiously BOGOFFed from parts of the internet?
To remind forgetful Paul - his TWO Westminster "research" staff are named:
Alex Webster and... "Edward Lord"
Paul Rowen's "good friend" ?
Yet Paul Rowen told the Obby he had only ONE Westminster researcher?
But have TWO staff Parliamentary passes been issued? Double bouble!
If we delve further, will we be told to "BOGOFF"?