Dewsbury MP Malik only one to employ dad at Westminster

DEWSBURY's Shahid Malik is the only MP in the country to employ his father in his office, the latest statistics from the Palace of Westminster reveal.

Mr Malik, who is also the minister of international development, gave Rafique Malik a job as a part-time caseworker in 2005.

Rafique Malik is paid between 13,566 and 25,195 a year, pro rata, from the MP's Staffing Allowance, which is funded by the taxpayer.

Labour MP Shahid Malik is the only one in the country to list his father as an employee, according to the Register of Members' Interests.

A new version of the list, entitled Family Members Employed and Remunerated through the Staffing Allowance, was published this week.

A spokesman for Shahid Malik said his father worked in the office for two days a week because he had "considerable experience" in the field. Rafique Malik served as a councillor for more than 30 years and also spent a term as the Mayor of Burnley.

Register

According to Register of Members' Interests, around one in six MPs employ family members in their offices.

These include Hilary Benn (Lab; Leeds Central), who pays his wife Sally Clark to work as a research/parliamentary assistant.

John Battle (Lab; Leeds West) employs his wife Mary as a caseworker and Philip Davies, the Tory MP for Shipley, employs his wife Deborah as his senior secretary.

All three MPs declared their family connections when the list was first published in March, following the scandal over Tory MP Derek Conway.

Mr Conway was handed a 10-day suspension from the House of Commons for overpaying his son using the Staffing Allowance.

After the scandal, the three main parties at Westminster all urged their MPs to declare any family members working for them.

There is no suggestion that those who have volunteered the information have broken rules.

But at the time, Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said the employment of relatives was "completely outdated."