Without any interview process having taken place, and at a reported salary of £107,000, the Speaker has appointed Tim Hames, formerly of the Times, as his media adviser.
In this day and age of 24/7 aggressive media, it’s probably a wise move, however, is Tim Hames working directly for the Speaker or for Parliament?
Is he there to be an advocate for Parliament and assist the media in their understanding of process and events, or is the £107,000 simply to protect the Speaker Bercow’s back? I’m sure the media await full details of the job description in this new age of transparency.
Sam Coates, resident at the Times, was on BBC 3 Counties radio this morning discussing the position.
He claimed to be a very good friend and colleague of Tim’s and justified the salary by claiming on air that ‘Tim was a lot smarter than most MPs and therefore deserved to be paid more’.
Really? Do we now justify the level of remuneration those working within Parliament are paid from the public purse on the basis of IQ? And on what evidence is Sam Coates making this assumption?
He then went on to say that most MPs weren’t fit to be members of a pub quiz team. Extraordinary.
I’m sure Tim Hames is a really nice man and will do a good job and indeed, as with the majority of people who work within parliament, will do his best. However, he may wish to begin by finding himself a new spin doctor because the one he deployed this morning will have won him no friends in Parliament amongst MPs.
Anyway, it’s always nice to know how the lobby correspondents regard us.