Now it is claimed that Mrs Spelman also used taxpayers' cash to pay her chief of staff to work as her political advisor. Under Commons rules, staff employed using Parliamentary allowances are bared [sic] from carrying out party political work and must limit themselves to supporting their employers in their duties as an MP. Simon Cawte was paid £47,500 a year from Mrs Spelman's allowances for two years while she worked as the Tories' shadow local government spokesman(Hat tip to Bob Piper)
This all stems from a story in the paper of record, the News of the World. Spelman's defence was that he did carry out his parliamentary duties - doubtless the political work was carried out in his spare time.
Meanwhile, Dave is preparing the ground to ease her out, for her own sake - 'cos he's a nice bloke, really, and always looking out for his people.
He is said to retain confidence that she will be cleared, but is concerned at the blow to her morale and would prefer a more active an [sic] enthusiastic person in such a crucial post in the run up to the election.
Not quite as upbeat as it could be. Not confidence that she is innocent, but that she will be cleared - and indicating that she might not be up to the job. She's hanging on longer than I thought, but will she 'decide' that she needs to stand down to let someone focus properly on the party? Will she make it through to the conference?