Labour brands MP 'out of touch' following comments on salaries
Labour has accused Andrew Bridgen of being out of touch with his constituents after the Tory made controversial comments about MPs' salaries.
Mr Bridgen, who represents North West Leicestershire, last week gave a radio interview after a report revealed MPs felt they should be paid more than their basic salary of £65,738.
He told the BBC's PM programme that many of his colleagues had taken pay cuts and left successful careers to serve in Parliament.
Mr Bridgen, who is also paid £7,773 every month for six hours of work as non-executive chairman of his vegetable processing firm, AB Produce, said on the radio: "A man or woman who is very capable and doing well in their profession, with a family – are they going to be willing to take that pay cut and look their child in the eye when it's Christmas and (say) you can't have what you normally have because mummy or daddy wants to be an MP?"
Measham councillor and chairman of North West Leicestershire Labour Party Tom Neilson said: "Only someone who has no idea what it is like on the bread line could have made the ridiculous comments he did on the PM Programme last week."
Mr Bridgen told the Mercury he was one of the few MPs to talk publicly and honestly about MPs' pay and said Labour MPs had also wanted a raise, according to a survey by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.
He said: "I would like to state I do not feel it would be appropriate to increase MPs' pay at the present time. In the long term, however, I can foresee issues with the diversity of people looking to stand as a Member of Parliament if the issue of pay is not looked at.
"I knew what I was signing up for and have no complaints about the salary."