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Called to Account – fifth Daily Mail serialisation

As I’m always pleased to see women promoted to top jobs, my first instinct was to support Rona Fairhead. I met her when she’d been appointed to chair the BBC Trust — a prestigious £110,000-a-year post. Before long, however, I was having grave doubts about her competence. Prior to joining the BBC Trust, Fairhead had […]

‘Called to Account’ – Released Today

I am delighted that my new book ‘Called to Account, How Corporate Bad Behaviour and Government Waste Combine to Cost us Millions’, is out today. The book is about my time as Chair of the Public Accounts Committee. After five years following the taxpayers’ pound, I have seen unconscionable amounts of waste and inefficiency and […]

Called to Account – fourth Daily Mail serialisation

Only rarely did crude party politics intrude into the working of the Public Accounts Committee. Most of the time, we were a very cohesive group — despite the fact that I was Labour and the majority of the members were Tory. Matthew Hancock, the Conservative MP who’d been George Osborne’s chief of staff before entering […]

Called to Account – third Daily Mail serialisation

BBC director-general George Entwistle had been in his job for just 54 days when he resigned. Few people shed any tears at his departure. He was not only an ineffective leader, but he’d just given a lamentable interview to John Humphrys on the Radio 4 Today programme. Still, after 20 years of moving through the […]

Called to Account – second Daily Mail serialisation

Pressed for funds, the NHS has never had to be so careful about how it spends its money. Or so you’d think. In 2011, the Public Accounts Committee decided to take a close look at the purchase of medical supplies by 61 different NHS trusts, at a cost of £4.6 billion. To our amazement, we […]

Called to Account – Serialised in the Daily Mail

My battle against tax avoidance. Believe it or not, the reason I decided to haul the bankers from Goldman Sachs before the committee was because I read Private Eye. It was a decision that was to have far-reaching consequences. Private Eye had run a story about an elaborate tax-avoidance scheme that had been set up […]

Government shelves privatisation of land registry

It is good the see that the Government have halted their plans to privatise the Land Registry. I wrote to George Osborne in June with Frank Field MP expressing our concerns that a privatised Land Registry would compromise the availability and quality of data available to the public. Without this data journalists and civil society […]

How to stop wasting women’s talents

I was 65 when I became chair of a powerful House of Commons committee, arguably a peak in my political career. I continue to do my job as the MP for Barking in my 70s, and I have just taken on honorary academic positions at two leading universities. Other women are doing even better. Look at […]

Number 5 Bus Consultation is now live

I am delighted that the consultation on diverting the number 5 bus to Queen’s hospital has now gone live. Residents have until 3rd October to make sure your views are heard. You can read more details on the TFL website here: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/buses/5   

Send My Friend To School Campaign

                                  Earlier this week students from Eastbury Community School popped round to my Barking office to drop off a small box of paper backpacks they had made. The backpacks are part of the “Send My Friend to School” campaign […]