Daniel Zeichner, the Labour MP for Cambridge, has been found to have breached rules surrounding MPs’ expenses by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, by misusing Parliamentary stationery as part of his party political campaigning.
Zeichner, whose majority was shrunk by the second-placed Liberal Democrats in 2019, has been issued a rebuke by Parliament, and has had to pay back several hundred pounds.
The Commissioner found that in 2019, Zeichner sent out a series of letters promoting a party-political message on Brexit, using Parliamentary envelopes and taxpayer-funded second class postage. It came as Labour MPs in Remain constituencies scrambled to portray themselves as pro-EU, amidst national equivocation by the party as reported by this website.
The initial complainant wrote that they feared that similar letters could have been sent to “hundreds, if not thousands” of Cambridge voters, and criticised Zeichner for making a series of veiled criticisms of the Liberal Democrats, who just a few months earlier had trounced Labour at the European Parliament election.
Our political analyst writes that “this casts serious doubts on Mr. Zeichner’s suitability as an MP.”
“He will have known that the Liberal Democrats were predicted to do well in Cambridge, and it appears that he broke Parliamentary rules in a desperate attempt to stave off their challenge. The degree to which his eventual victory was down to what could be said to be dirty campaign tactics will be a source of much discussion in the coming weeks.”
Cover image credit: The Cambridge Independent