Channel 4s Dispatches ran a fascinating documentary on EU expenses, which focussed on MEPs. I think many MEPs actually do a great job and it could have done with a bit of balance. But it exposed a number of MEPs who continue to pay their partners as assistants. These included parties across the parties (including North East Labour MEP Stephen Hughes, who paid his wife the highest wage of all the British MEPs). Now I can see how employing a partner could be a good idea, after all the family that works together, stays together. It is some times a winning formula in business, although I think my wife would lynch me after a few weeks!
However, in public life, when you can set the wage of your partner and this comes from taxpayers money, this is not tenable any more. MEPs must bite the bullet, as did MPs and stop this. Councillors should also ensure that their partners are not employed as political assistants, although there's no risk of that in Northumberland as we can't afford them!