Oona King today gave her first interview since the election when she spoke on the Today programme. You can listen to it by clicking here.
A couple of interesting things came out of it.
First, Oona revealed that despite Galloway’s attack on the returning officer and her staff – it was the Labour Party that might have more of a cause for complaint after the request for a recount was dismissed out of hand. According to King the response was: “You must be joking”.
Secondly, looking to the future, she said: “I will never run for parliament in any seat other than this seat here. I don’t necessarily plan to be an MP again. In politics never say never, who knows what is going to happen? Who knows when a by-election might be called for all sorts of interesting reasons which I am sure will come to the fore in the future”.
I wonder what ‘interesting reasons’ Oona could be referring to? It can’t be the Telegraph appeal because I understand the bankruptcy laws have recently been changed so that bankrupts can remain in parliament. And of course there is no guarantee that even if Galloway were to be faced with the more than £1.2 million in costs in the event of a defeat in the courts that he wouldn’t have well-placed friends in far-away places that could help him out.
Could it be the upcoming report of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards?
I also thought it was striking how much attention Oona placed on the case load that will face Galloway on local issues. If the Labour Party had some balls they would give Oona King an MP’s level salary for the next five years and let her effectively operate as a local party representative even though she would not have direct access to parliament. She could focus entirely on local issues, build on her strong relationships in the constituency and be in an excellent position to get the small swing needed to win the seat back for Labour at the next election – or by-election.