Former Tory MP told to give back money paid to gay son

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An MP has been ordered to pay back £3,757 of taxpayers’ money used to employ his gay son as a researcher.

Derek Conway was also told by the Standards and Privileges Committee to write an apology to the House of Commons.

He was suspended from the House in January 2008 after being censured by the committee for paying his son Frederick £50,000 of public money for “work” as a researcher.

Mr Conway’s elder son Henry, who is gay, had received similar payments during his time at university, totalling £32,000.

A number of tabloid newspapers focused on Henry Conway’s sexuality, and his father spoke out about the rough treatment he received, branding sections of the press homophobic.

“Yes, he runs a club night at the Mahiki nightclub in London,” the disgraced MP said in February 2008.

“It is his job. He is earning a living. It is portrayed as a gay lad bouncing round London; drink, drugs, whatever.

“One newspaper even tried to suggest that he’d had a sex-change on the NHS.

“It is complete rubbish. These homophobic clowns think every gay wants to be a woman.

“Why should he be pilloried for being gay? He’s my son.”

Last year Mr Conway was kicked out of the Tory party, ordered to pay back £13,000 and announced he would not be seeking re-election in his Old Bexley constituency.

Today’s committee report into payments to Henry said:

“Henry Conway was a student at the Courtauld Institute of Art near Westminster; he lived at his parents’ flat in Westminster; and he was seen about the Palace of Westminster on several occasions.

“While we note that there is more circumstantial evidence of Henry Conway working for his father than there was in the case of Freddie Conway, it is unfortunate that there is no hard evidence.”