Vince Cable did not half make it easy for the Daily Telegraph when it dispatched staffers to blog about him. Having been told that they were constituents and local Party members, he volunteered the position that he had “declared war” on Rupert Murdoch regarding ownership of media outlets.
What a dope. And this resulted in his being stripped of the authority to rule on such matters, although he retained his role as Business Secretary.
Other LibDem MPs were the subject of similar fishing expeditions, although none went that far.
It now has been reported that the Party and a number of individuals have complained to the PCC, which will investigate under the Editors Code of Conduct.
Regardless of the inappropriate nature of Cable’s burblings, his central complaint seems sound: he, like all MPs, would be expected to keep confidential any concerns and comments made by constituents in surgeries. If MPs should now not be able to trust that someone they are speaking to has given correct contact details, or if they simply are angling for common tittle-tattle, they will be – quite rightly – cagey about affording them their undivided attention.