This is actually a relatively small number when you consider that Cameron doesn’t, unlike the Prime Minister, have a multitude of civil servants working for him. But Stephen Pound, the quote happy Labour MP, has seen fit to join in with the Mirror’s outrage, telling the paper, "Not even the President of the United States needs 12 secretaries.” Now, a quick look at the White House staff list reveals that the President and the First Lady have a 27 strong correspondence unit and 27 people doing scheduling and advance work for them. In other words, Pound’s comment is misleading and ill-informed. (And no, I’m not suggesting that the leader of the opposition needs a staff as big as the President of the United States. All I’m pointing out is how wrong Pound was).
Pound isn’t the only MP — and it isn’t only Labour MPs — who is happy to lend a quote to any story bashing their opponents regardless of its merits. But with the reputation of politics already so low, shouldn’t MPs be a bit more discriminating?