Politics.co.uk Blog

Friday, 30 July 2010

They need a holiday

After a couple of (very busy) days MPs are heading back to their constituencies for the long summer break.

Actually, it's not so long as all that. There's only five full weeks until the Commons returns for an unusual fortnight of sittings in September.

Still, most of us wouldn't sniff at the opportunity to have five weeks away from it all.

Twelve months ago the newspapers were full of outrageous 'MPs on holiday' stories as hacks looked for new angles on the 'they're monsters' theme.

This time around it might be different. A senior government whip I spoke to on the terrace of the Palace of Westminster on the first day of the recess had a distinct strain of relief in his voice.

"We all need a holiday," he said, rather pathetically. MPs felt utterly victimised this time last year. Walking around the corridors of parliament was like wandering through a combination of a morgue and a museum.

(Given the state of the culture budget, I'd probably just be able to say 'museum' in a few months)

The Kelly inquiry into expenses restarted the furore one day before MPs returned. Then came Legg and the auditors; an exhausting general election campaign; and the minor trauma of a coalition formation. Perhaps MPs do deserve a holiday, after all.

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