Sunday, 10 January 2010

Darling Resigns to Escape Bad Press



Alistair Darling has resigned from Scotland's most prestigious legal body after it started an inquiry into his conduct surrounding his expenses as an MP.

The Chancellor ended his 25-year membership of the Faculty of Advocates a week before Christmas.

Mr Darling, a respected lawyer prior to entering politics, gave no public explanation. However the Chancellor's exit followed a complaint to the Faculty by a member of the public about his House of Commons expenses for a second home.

During the summer scandal over MPs' expenses, it emerged that Mr Darling had 'flipped' his second home four times in four years and received tax advice paid for with public funds.

The 470- year-old Faculty of Advocates regulates the activity of around 700 members, both practising and non-practising and its code of conduct states that: 'An Advocate owes a duty not to bring the Faculty into disrepute'.

Mr Darling's spokesman described his boss's exit as a "coincidence". However, a legal source said :

There was a complaint lodged by a member of the public about him flipping his house in Edinburgh.

“That automatically activated the disciplinary machinery. He’s learned about it and then decided he didn’t want the bad press and resigned.

“Once an advocate has resigned they are not capable of being disciplined.

“The spin from Number 11 Downing Street is that it’s because he hasn’t practised for a long time, but it was to avoid the embarrassment of the flipping scandal.”


I wonder if the Faculty will continue the investigation now that Mr Darling is no longer a member. His spokeswoman said:

There was absolutely nothing wrong in what he did about his houses.

“The disciplinary proceedings would not have been awkward and it is ridiculous to suggest he resigned because of this.”


31 comments:

Ollie Cromwell said...

Tease, I thought you meant from government(as I am sure you intended.) You got me.

subrosa said...

Well, it wasn't exactly teasing Ollie but I had to use resign because that's what he did. :)

Tory Totty Online said...

lol . . .damn - I was all excited there for a minute! (again!) lol

subrosa said...

TT you'll have to stop getting so excited, bad for your blood pressure. ;)

It's quite a big thing Darling resigning from the Faculty you know. It'll be the talk of Edinburgh drawing rooms for weeks!

Bugger said...

Oh, no no no SubR

Drawing Roos, no, Parlours yes.

Goodnight Vienna said...

They like to stick together don't they? This should be big news, not just in the Herald.

tris said...

'His spokeswoman said:
There was absolutely nothing wrong in what he did about his houses.'

That says all you need to know about them.

Anna Raccoon said...

Nice scoop, Subrosa, appears to have gone unnoticed by the heavyweights...well done!

thesoapcauldron said...

Good riddance...

Observer said...

It's in the Sunday Herald - along with a hysterical piece attacking Alex Salmond.

I have to say that the Sunday Herald is the best Sunday paper on the go, as long as you don't mind the fact that they just have a go at everyone.

Well, that is their job, but they seem to do it more even handedly than most.

Clarinda said...

Had a quick shufti at who the "member of the public" complaining may have been.
From an entirely different angle, however, I see Mr Darling's Conservative opponent at the next election is also a solicitor who I innocently presume would allegedly be aware that any publically spirited complaint to the Faculty of Advocates would trigger the full weight of a formal investigation of a current member?
Tory "decapitation policy" in motion?

Demetrius said...

Very interesting........the flipping is what we see, it is what we don't see in relation to Northern Rock, RBS, HBOS etc. that might be intricate. The attempt to dun the Icelanders owes more to propping up the big debtors to RBS as it does to helping local councils councils and people who invested a lot more than the should have (who advises them?). I recall that it was John Presoctt who urged on local authorities to fancy investments at about the same time as his familie's property empire took off.

subrosa said...

Bug, weren't they parlours in Dundee and withdrawing rooms in Edinburgh? Let's not forget Edinburgh is the London of the north!

subrosa said...

GV I'll copy it over to you.

subrosa said...

It does indeed tris but it goes to show the Faculty has some standards.

subrosa said...

Thank you Anna.

subrosa said...

I should think many in the Faculty are thinking that soap. He was possibly just staying for the prestige of the label in the first place.

subrosa said...

Aye Observer, I've linked to the Herald in the 'source' at the bottom.

Will get round to doing the Salmond attack later I hope.

subrosa said...

Did you find out who it may be Clarinda?

Ah, a wee bit of rivalry between legal beagles perhaps?

subrosa said...

He resigned because he was scared of boing investigated by his legal peers obviously Demetrius.

They would have been a lot more thorough than any political individual - like Kelly for example.

Strathturret said...

Parlour means something different in Edinburgh surely!

Always thought that Faculty of Advocates contained a fair few rogues!

Really this is a bit of a non story. Mind you the Salmond bodguard tosh is even more of a non story.

Why has no Scottish journalist investigated Marshall/Martin expenses; it took Michael Crick from Newsnight to doorstep Marshall's house/office!

Then there all those crime families. Are some of these people in any way linked with politicians?

Paul Hutcheon seems to be a 'one trick pony' to me.

Bugger said...

Strath,

The whole West of Scotland Labour politics is a can of corrupt worms.

They are all in it up to their arm pits. The association of politicians, land development, public houses, building permits, criminal families is a cesspit of corruption.

Just why the Police do not seem to be able or interested in doing something about it is the real question we should be asking.

This lot make Daley and Chicago look like a test model.

subrosa said...

It may be a bit of a non story to the man in the street Strathturret, but it certainly won't be in legal and political circles.

Why shouldn't we take note? These are the people who may our laws or assist with them.

banned said...

How many other thieving MPs are memebers of professional bodies and vulnerable to this type of attack?

subrosa said...

I think your question should be 'how any other thieving MPs have resigned from respected professional bodies in the past 6 months' banned.

Strathturret said...

This story sounds like a Tory party stunt to me to embarass Darling.

As he no longer practices the easy thing was to resign.

Flipping houses seems a grey area.

subrosa said...

Strathturret, people join these types of setups for prestige, nothing else. Most stay until their dying day because it's not (or wasn't) easy to get in the doors of boys clubs like this.

Flipping a house 4 times in 4 years a grey area?

I think not.

Strathturret said...

But is it illegal? I'm sure an advocate wouldn't do it knowingly if it was?

If you've been Chancellor of Exchequor then a boys club in Edinburgh is small beer if you want another remunerative number I would have thought?

I'm more upset with our learned friends who knowingly defend gangsters. Who know who I mean....

subrosa said...

I know who you mean Strathturret.

Illegal perhaps not. Very unwise perhaps so. Hence his resignation.

Not a sheep said...

Great spot, I have linked.

subrosa said...

Thanks notasheep.

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