In principle I see no reason for MPs not to employ family members. Politics is a 'profession' full of people with egoes who are not averse to backstabbing whenever necessary, and it is on a scale that is much more vicious than in virtually any other walk of life. If I was an elected representative and had a family member, wife or other, who could do a job for me I would certainly employ them before many others in politics, if only because I knew I could trust them to be working with me rather than against me.
Of course there has to be transparency, after all what serious politicans wants people whispering that Mrs X or Mr Y is being bunged £40,000pa to swan around the West End. One of the prices to pay for being an elected representative is saying goodbye to privacy, you must prove that your staff, family or otherwise, are actually employed gainfully and not just receiving a subsidy.
Of course there have been cases where MPs' families have been receiving money for nothing and that, quite rightly, needs stamping out. But it isn't just MPs but MEPs who are at it. They came through the expenses scandal in their elections in June pretty untainted, but former UKIP MEP Tom Wise is up before the courts next month, a fate yet to befall an MP, and you don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to unearth some pretty unsavoury financial shenanigans in Brussels and Strasbourg. Indeed when I was involved with UKIP their position was to publicly oppose employing family members on MEPs' allowances. A position shown to be slightly hypocritical when we found out, through a national newspaper, that Nigel Farage, UKIP MEP, had been employing his wife on an undisclosed salary for some time. None of us knew what she did exactly as we had never come across her in the course of our work.
By contrast Nikki Sinclaire, UKIP MEP for the West Midlands, is highly transparent in explaining her allowances and lists, on her website, who she employs and what they do for her. I suggest you visit Nikki's website. Incidentally, she des not employ any family members.
So there is a need for openness and transparency but I sympathise with hard working staff, who happen to be related to the MP for whom they work, who now face the chop. The expenses of MPs need sorting out, but there is a real danger of throwing the baby out with the bath water. The whole thing seems to be becoming yet another huge and dangerous over reaction that this country is becoming all too familiar with, yes it has been bad but please let's keep things in proportion.
Ironically bombing Iraq and Afghanistan, leading to the deaths of hundreds of British servicemen, will go unpunished. What is the bigger crime in the real world? Indeed Blair could be rewarded with becoming first President of the United States of Europe, which says it all.