A 'Good guy' destroyed by expenses scandal
PUBLISHED: 22:48, 7 September 2012 | UPDATED: 22:50, 7 September 201
In a new biography, it is claimed that Press coverage of the expenses scandal led to the death of MP David Taylor
Was one of the Labour party’s finest backbenchers killed by Press coverage of the expenses scandal?
That is the upsetting (and, for us journalists, worrying) claim made in a biography of David Taylor, late MP for NW Leicestershire.
The book, written by his friend and fellow MP Paul Flynn, will be launched at Westminster next week. Mr Taylor’s widow Pamela is expected to attend and it will no doubt be a moving celebration of a man who demonstrated rare independence of mind during his 12 years in the Commons.
Mr Taylor, who was also a church warden, died after a heart attack while taking a family walk on Boxing Day 2009.
He was a softly spoken, unaffected fellow. Generous, too. When colleagues were unable to afford subscriptions to a campaign group, he picked up their bills anonymously.
I don’t suppose I agreed with him about much in politics, but it was hard not to like David Taylor. When the expenses scandal broke, he became tangled in it to a minor degree.
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He was horrified. Unlike many MPs, he immediately published all his expenses claims and repaid certain sums. Yet still he brooded on the matter.
David Anderson (Lab, Blaydon) is quoted in the book as saying: ‘Without sounding melodramatic, I have often thought since that this great man was a real victim of the expenses scandal.’
A former member of Mr Taylor’s staff says that one national newspaper ‘absolutely killed him — stone dead, without mercy’.
I suspect that the general strain of politics may have been at least equally to blame.
It would be a pity if David Taylor were remembered for these claims rather than the noble work he did. But the claims do give us journalists something to ponder.
‘It was the good guys who were destroyed by the scandal not the crooks,’ says Mr Flynn.
‘I would love as many people as possible to know that there is such a thing as a virtuous MP.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2199969/David-Taylor-A-Good-guy-destroyed-expenses-scandal.html#ixzz25sVqi9Sv