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Sack Conway now for overpayment'

PUBLISHED: 14:50 04 February 2009 | UPDATED: 16:06 25 August 2010

PAYBACK: Derek Conway in his latest role as presenter of a book show on Iranian-backed Press TV.

PAYBACK: Derek Conway in his latest role as presenter of a book show on Iranian-backed Press TV.

DEREK Conway should be sacked after being found guilty for a SECOND time of paying a son too much money for work there was no hard evidence of , according to a parliamentary candidate.

DEREK Conway should be sacked after being found guilty for a SECOND time of paying a son too much money for work there was 'no hard evidence of', according to a parliamentary candidate.

The MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup apologised to the House of Commons on Tuesday after he was ordered to repay £3,757.83 by the Standards and Privileges Committee last Thursday.

The cross-party committee found the father-of-three had overpaid his eldest son Henry when he worked for his as a research assistant between 2001 and 2004.

But the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for his seat Duncan Borrowman said there has to be 'more mechanisms in place' for the removal of an MP who has 'completely abused the system'.

He said: "In any other job Mr Conway would be sacked for gross misconduct.

"The only things that can remove an MP from their seat is going to jail for a year or a majority vote on a motion to remove them in the House of Commons and the House tends to protect their own members. The last time I think this happened was in 1953."

The committee report read: "Mr Conway sent the commissioner a photograph of Henry Conway with a foreign ambassador taken on the Parliamentary estate; we do not regard this as hard evidence of work carried out.

"However, Henry Conway was a student at the Courtauld Institute of Art near Westminster; he lived at his parents' flat in Westminster; and he was seen about the Palace of Westminster on several occasions."

Henry's employment overlapped by a month with that of his younger brother, Freddie, who were both full-time students at the time.

The report comes exactly a year after the MP was suspended from Parliament, sacked from the Conservative party and pledged to stand down at the next general election. Mr Conway said: "The committee report has cleared me on three of the four complaints alleging breach of the Rules of the House. The complaint is upheld with regard to the salary level paid to my son Henry over a period of 39 months."

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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