Galloway loses FDs’ respect

The UK’s finance professionals have expressed their anger that Bethnal Green
and Bow MP George Galloway has been allowed to appear in reality show Big
Brother at the taxpayer’s expense.

In this week’s Accountancy Age/Reed Finance Big Question, 78% of the
278 respondents said that Galloway should not be allowed to appear in the
programme while parliament is in session. Only 18% of those polled said Galloway
should be allowed to appear in the show, with 4% neutral.

Galloway, who is leader of the Respect party, is on an MP’s salary of £61,000
and has been in the Big Brother house since 5 January. Reports indicate that he
stands to earn £150,000 for appearing in the show. ‘An MP is paid to be an MP
for 365 days a year, and shouldn’t be seeking reward for doing anything else
while being paid as an MP,’ said Paul Edwards, director of taxation at Horwath
Clark Whitehill.

David Ward, financial director at Aim Aviation, said Galloway should not be
paid with taxpayers’ money when he was using the programme to advance his media
career. ‘He is being paid a salary to represent his constituents which he is
clearly not doing while appearing on this programme,’ said Ward.

But Christian Beech, financial controller at Filters for Industry, said it
should be left to Galloway’s constituents to judge him. ‘If the public in his
constituency do not like it, then they do not have to vote for him at the next
election,’ he said.

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