Today’s Sunday Times headline sums it up:
Tories backtrack over Caroline Spelman’s payments to nanny
As more details are coming out, her initial defence is looking less and less sure. Although part of the initial defence was about how swamped she was when she became an MP and desperately needed someone – almost anyone – to help with her constituency work, it now turns out that far from being an urgent short-term patch-up post-election measure, the controversial payments actually went on for two years after the election.
As the Sunday Times says:
After the unusual arrangements were exposed earlier this month, Spelman issued a statement in which she suggested that the nanny’s employment was short-term. Her party originally backed up this version of events, saying Haynes – Spelman’s nanny from 1997 to 2002 – worked as a constituency secretary for six hours a day “between 1997 and 1998”.
Last night Conservative sources admitted that a “mistake” had been made. A source said: “We’ve looked at the records and it does now seem the nanny was employed until spring 1999.”