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  1. National

Branson: Attract 'higher quality' MPs by improving pay

Sir Richard Branson has said a wage increase for MPs could be a good thing for the country because it will attract "higher quality politicians."

In a blog on the Virgin website, Branson argued that "countries would be able to attract higher quality politicians by offering them greater rewards".

Sir Richard Branson. Credit: Press Association Images

The Virgin founder also suggested the cost could be offset by reducing the number of politicians and the size of parliament.

Branson believes changes in pay could help reduce corruption and produce a more efficient and effective government which could improve the global economy.

Read: Most MPs work hard, so should they get paid more?

Former Rotherham MP "disappointed" over fraud charge

Former Rotherham MP Denis MacShane has said he's "disappointed" after it was announced he would be charged with false accounting over £12,900 of expenses claims.

The Crown Prosecution Service said it had decided there was "sufficient evidence" to proceed against the ex-Labour minister for allegedly faking receipts.

"I am disappointed at the CPS decision but as the matter is now in the hands of the court I will be making no further statement."

– Denis Macshane


  1. National

TaxPayers' Alliance: MPs' pay rise is an insult

The TaxPayers' Alliance has said a proposal to increasing MPs' pay to £74,000 amounts to "putting up two fingers to the British public".

The idea of hiking MPs' pay when everyone else has been suffering such a squeeze on their earnings is totally unpalatable. MPs do an important job and work hard, but they already earn nearly three times the national average and more than most of their European counterparts.

The extensive research commissioned by Ipsa has demonstrated that people think the current level of pay to be broadly fair, so this announcement amounts to an unaccountable quango putting up two fingers to the British public.

– TaxPayers' Alliance chief executive Matthew Sinclair

Former Rotherham MP to be charged

Former Rotherham MP Denis Macshane

Former Rotherham MP Denis MacShane will be charged with false accounting over parliamentary expenses claims, the Crown Prosecution Service has said.

Malcolm McHaffie, deputy head of the CPS special crime division said: "Having thoroughly reviewed the evidence gathered by the police, I have decided there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to bring a criminal charge.

"This charge relates to fraudulent claims with a total value of £12,900.

Mr McHaffie added: "The charge is of false accounting, contrary to the Theft Act 1968. It is alleged that Denis Macshane claimed expenses for research and translation services carried out by a company that did not carry out that work."

Macshane stepped down as MP last year after saying he made a "grievous mistake".

  1. National

Ed Miliband voices opposition to rise in MPs' salaries

Labour leader Ed Miliband said he did not believe the suggest rise in MPs' salaries should go ahead - and confirmed he would not take it if it did.

Labour leader Ed Miliband. Credit: Press Assocation

"I don't think MPs should be getting a 10 per cent pay rise when nurses and teachers are facing either pay freezes or very low increases and people in the private sector are facing similar circumstances.

"I'm very clear - I don't think this package of proposals should go ahead in the current economic circumstances."

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