Martin Bright

Why is Charlie Whelan allowed into Portcullis House unaccompanied?

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The parliamentary pass system is supposed to be strictly adhered to in order to stop lobbyists and interest groups getting undue access to politicians (indeed I recently received a slap on the wrist for not updating the journalists' register of interests immediately after I left the New Statesman. And quite right too). 

Guests of passholders are supposed to be accompanied at all times. So I was surprised to see drunken thug Charlie Whelan, the Prime Minister's mockney fixer, wandering around Portcullis House unaccompanied yesterday. Perhaps he had simply slipped his minder. But I would be interested to know how he qualifies for a pass as a trade union official.

One Labour MP simply tweeted "public schoolboy" after I mentioned this on Twitter yesterday. I guess that must explain it.