Christina McKelvie MSP, Hamilton, Larkhall & Stonehouse, has attacked Jimmy Hood MP for his poor record in representing the voters in his constituency.
Mr Hood has been appointed as Chairman for the Recall of MPs Bill which is about to start its journey through the House of Commons.
“I am staggered to discover that one of the UK’s poorest performing MPs has been selected to take up the Chairman’s position on this issue. In fact, I would suggest that he might well be among the first victims to be recalled once this provision is agreed.
“Over and over again I have challenged Mr Hood on a range of issues and found that either I received no response at all or that my questions were kicked into the grass”.
Mr Hood has appeared just 16 times in the House of Commons in the last year, well below the MP average. He was found guilty of claiming up to £1,000 per month in a second homes allowance during the expenses scandal of 2009. He designated a London property as his second home for expenses purposes, entitling him to reclaim the cost of its upkeep in food, cleaning, repairs, maintenance and other charges. None of the costs required receipts since Mr Hood kept each claim under the set limit throughout the four years of claims examined.
Mr Hood admitted in 2010 that he was in receipt of a £7,500 a year contract with Scottish Coal to “advise on parliamentary matters as they pertain to the coal industry.” However, in his declaration of the payments, he enters the advisory note: “Hours: nil”. Mr Hood declared: “It is so long since I advised them on anything – the last thing was probably the floods at Longannet.” That was in 2002, when Scotland’s last deep mine was closed down with the loss of 500 jobs.
That money came on top of the MP’s basic £65,000 salary. He is one of the ‘named and shamed’ MPs happy to accept his current 11 per cent pay rise when health workers in England and Wales can’t even get one per cent. Mr Hood also receives an addition £14,727.90 a year for merely being a name on the list of available chairmen.
During the independence campaign, Mr Hood declared that he would still vote No even if Scotland would be better off economically with independence. He told the House of Commons: “Even if the SNP was right and there was a grand, great thing at the end of the rainbow for the SNP and its debate for independence, I would still be against it.”
Christina McKelvie responded: “There we have it, straight from the horse’s mouth – Jimmy Hood has finally said what we have already known for a while – that the No campaign doesn’t care what is in the best interests of Scotland”.
The House of Commons will debate the Recall of MPs Bill from Monday under Mr Hood’s chairmanship.