Right-wing trash site uses false headline to twist simple story – here’s the real one
Right-wing smears against the left continue. Trash site ‘Guido Fawkes’ has published an outright fiction about former Labour MP Laura Pidcock – no author has had the courage to put a name to it – claiming that she has been ‘fined’ by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner (PSC).
Pidcock has repaid £3,835 after the PSC decided that adding some words to a letter to local pensioners about free TV licences had made a standard notification into a political communication that should not have been sent out on parliamentary notepaper.
Fawkes claimed Pidcock was ‘fined’, but in fact – as even the PSC document the site quoted acknowledges – Pidock agreed to repay the cost of the bulletin:
The former Member acknowledged and apologised for her inadvertent breach of the rules. She has undertaken to refund the House authorities
No fine of any kind was imposed.
Laura Pidcock has commented directly:
Before the usual suspects make mischief with this, I just wanted to briefly explain what, in fact, happened. In September 2019, I wrote to constituents about the scrapping of free TV licences for over 75s. The primary purpose of the letter was to inform constituents that they could come to my office to get a pension credit check, because if they qualified for pension credits, they would still be entitled to a free TV license. Subsequently, someone complained to the Parliamentary standards commissioner about the letter and I was therefore investigated. The commissioner said this:
“Although her original intention was to raise awareness around changes to rules for over 75’s TV licenses, alterations made by Ms Pidcock to a letter template, provided by the Parliamentary Research Service (PRS), resulted in her mailing becoming party-political in tone and content, and no longer neutral or objective.”
The commissioner therefore decided that the appropriate action would be to pay back the postage and stationery costs for the communications sent, which I have agreed to do and accepted her decision. The case is now closed.
As I stated in the evidence I submitted, it was an honest mistake. I wanted constituents to know my office was there for them if they needed our help. Although I am no longer an MP, I have learned so much in my time as an MP and still see it as the most amazing privilege of my life.
The right is determined to destroy the left – which just makes it all the more essential that the left unifies and fights. Solidarity to Ms Pidcock.
Fawkes is an entirely unregulated site, so even in such cases of complete fiction there is no regulatory body to make a complaint to – not even the ‘sham‘ IPSO.
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