TalkRADIO’s Kevin O’Sullivan invited Professor Matthew Flinders on his show who is the Director of the Sir Bernard Crick Centre – A Sheffield University politics department. But the pair clashed over MPs’ expenses with Professor Flinders defending expenses if they abided by the rules. After the academic warned the debates surrounding expenses would cause a two-tier system of MPs, Mr O’Sullivan furiously argued with the director over Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner’s claims as Mr Flinders made an illustrative point about the host’s chair.
Matthew Flinders defended the use of MP’s expenses and said that many politicians were “scared” to use them.
He argued it created a two-tier system of MPs of those who did not require expenses because of their wealth already and those who may have less money.
Prof Flinders said as a result only a narrow range of people enter politics made up of individuals who can support themselves financially inside the political sphere and all the expenses that come with it.
Prof Flinders added that people would be scared of entering politics because of people like Mr O’Sullivan who would “constantly” pull them down for following procedures.
Mr O’Sullivan said the alternative was just to sit around and do nothing which he did not agree with when MPs claim for expensive Apple products.
The radio host then listed expensive headphones, keyboards and office chairs as things that have been claimed by MPs on expenses.
But Prof Flinders raised his eyebrows when it appeared that Mr O’Sullivan did not want MPs to have office chairs.
Mr O’Sullivan said “they can buy their own office chairs” before the conversation got heated.
The politics professor replied: “Why don’t you stand up and get rid of the chair you’re sitting on?
As things appeared to calm down, Mr O’Sullivan lambasted MPs for “destroying the public’s trust” during the expenses scandal.
But Mr Flinders quipped: “There’s only one thing destroying the public’s trust, it’s people like you!”
The issue of MP’s expenses reared its head earlier this month as Labour’s Angela Rayner was found to have bought expensive Apple AirPods for her Zoom meetings.
It was then pointed out by political website Guido Fawkes that the Labour deputy leader had not been wearing them for many of her online calls – despite her insisting they were necessary for them.