02 January 2007

Dual mandate double standards

A piece of rather sloppy journalism in the Herald has led me to make this post: the paper is reporting on the LibDems' criticism of Alex Salmond seeking election in Gordon (one of their constituencies) while remaining as Westminster MP for Banff & Buchan.

Midway through the piece, they drop the clanger, by informing its readers: "Unlike previous dual-mandate parliamentarians... Mr Salmond would also be the first to represent two different sets of constituents."

In actual fact, the first parliamentarian to do so was Donald Gorrie, who was MP for Edinburgh West when he was elected as an MSP for the Central Scotland Region (which does not contain Edinburgh West) in 1999. Gorrie did not stand down from Westminster until 2001.

I do not recall the LibDems complaining (at least in public) that Gorrie would be either a part-time MP for Edinburgh West or a part-time MSP for Central Scotland. Now either the Liberal Democrats are the only party whose politicians can legitimately represent two different areas, or they just forgot about Gorrie. Clearly the Herald did...


Mr Eugenides said...

Have you met Donald Gorrie? He is, er, easily forgotten.

Mark McDonald said...

Well spotted Will, and a good letter in The Herald to boot.