What if regional pay rates applied to MPs?

A thought experiment for the Treasury team.

Over at his blog, A View from Ham Common, Richard Morris asks:

Just to double check - these proposals that Public Servants from the poorest parts of the country should earn less than those from richer parts do apply to MPs, don't they?

Of course it's just a thought experiment -- MPs work in London for most of the week -- but still, as @zelostreet points out, it could be interesting to see the MPs for Sheffield Hallam, Tatton, and Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey explain the point to their constituents.

Currently, MPs in London constituencies get an extra £7,500 - which they voted up 157%, from £2,916, in the Commons in July 2008. But there's no difference in pay to take into account that, say, house prices in Witney, Oxfordshire, average £253,905 while in the Highlands, the average house price is £156,966.

Helen Lewis is deputy editor of the New Statesman. She has presented BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and is a regular panellist on BBC1’s Sunday Politics.

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Tony Blair won't endorse the Labour leader - Jeremy Corbyn's fans are celebrating

The thrice-elected Prime Minister is no fan of the new Labour leader. 

Labour heavyweights usually support each other - at least in public. But the former Prime Minister Tony Blair couldn't bring himself to do so when asked on Sky News.

He dodged the question of whether the current Labour leader was the best person to lead the country, instead urging voters not to give Theresa May a "blank cheque". 

If this seems shocking, it's worth remembering that Corbyn refused to say whether he would pick "Trotskyism or Blairism" during the Labour leadership campaign. Corbyn was after all behind the Stop the War Coalition, which opposed Blair's decision to join the invasion of Iraq. 

For some Corbyn supporters, it seems that there couldn't be a greater boon than the thrice-elected PM witholding his endorsement in a critical general election. 

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines. 

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