DIANE ABBOTT has defended herself against allegations of hypocrisy after it was revealed she had offered herself for speaking engagements for thousands of pounds.
The MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, pictured, and shadow international development minister, had registered with firms that arrange celebrity guests for fees.
This was despite her having supported a drive early this year by the then Labour leader Ed Milliband to prevent MPs’ taking second jobs.
Abbott, who campaigned for PM wannabe Jeremy Corbyn to succeed Milliband as opposition leader, earned up to £1,400 for an appearance in an East Anglian town and was advertised by the Parliament Speakers Bureau as being available for £1,500 to £5,000.
After The Sunday Times put those details to her, she said she would leave the lists.
Asked why by Loving Dalston, she explained: “I am formally quitting their lists because I registered with them ages ago and didn’t know I still featured on their websites.”
What about appearances for charities and schools? “Obviously,” she said, “I don’t charge Labour Party, Hackney, schools or community events.”
David Altheer 091115
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