The Corner

Kinnock, Kinnock, Who’s There?

One of the reasons for the relative success of “outsider” parties (and, of course, the abstainers) in the EU elections was the perception that the EU’s governing elite is just a little too comfortable with its sense of entitlement. So how does Gordon Brown respond? Well, the Daily Telegraph notes, like this:

When Glenys Kinnock quit her job as an MEP, it looked as though her days on a public-funded salary were over. Yet a surprise call from Number 10 has seen the wife of the former Labour Party leader make the seamless transition from a £63,291-a-year euro MP to the £83,275-a-year Europe Minister in Gordon Brown’s troubled government. The appointment, coupled with the fact that she will be joining her husband Neil (Baron Kinnock of Bedwellty), in the House of Lords marks an astonishing political – and financial – coup for the former primary school teacher from south Wales.

Lord Kinnock, 67, and his wife, 64, are, however, not the only members of their family who have earned a taxpayer-funded living. Until the New Year, Stephen Kinnock, the couple’s only son, was head of the St Petersburg office of the publicly funded British Council, the Government quango whose role is to promote our cultural ties abroad. Its unpaid chairman is Lord Kinnock. Mr Kinnock, 39, now works as a director of the World Economic Forum. Furthermore, two years ago, the Kinnocks’ only daughter, Rachel, 37, was given a job on Mr Brown’s political staff. The couple insist that Lord Kinnock had no role in his son’s British Council appointment or his daughter’s job on Mr Brown’s staff. By succeeding Caroline Flint, Mrs Kinnock was not off the public payroll for a single day. She gave up her post as an MEP the day before her appointment as a Minister of State.

Nice work if you can get it.

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