New Malden Councillor paid more per word than ex-PM Tony Blair

Our Democracy and Chinese Affairs reporter LADY DAVENTRY investigates after hearing complaints that Councillor Jaesung Ha hasn’t been representing New Malden at the Council…

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Councillor Jaesung Ha was elected to represent New Malden in May 2018, the first Korean in the country to be elected as a councillor.

Since then, Councillor Ha has spent meeting after meeting staring at his laptop without uttering a word. Whether it’s e-mails or Candy Crush we shall never know.

In fact, at Full Council on 23rd April 2019, he didn’t even flinch when an officer mistakenly read out that he was absent.

So what exactly has Jaesung done with his £8086.30 councillor allowance in that time?

After much trawling and searching, it would appear that Councillor Ha is higher paid than former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, per word.

His one and only contribution since being elected at Council has been the word “against” in a roll-call vote to allow local resident James Giles to address the meeting. Mr Giles happens to be a constituent of Councillor Ha.Screen Shot 2019-07-05 at 13.50.04His maiden speech lasted a grand total of one second, making his pro-rated fee for speaking £485,178 per minute. By comparison, it’s reported that Tony Blair is only on just over £6000 a minute.

When the Liberal Democrats are claiming the Council is ‘bankrupt’, it might be an idea to reconsider the allowances of certain councillors who aren’t pulling their weight.

We’ve approached the Liberal Democrats for comment, but, to date, like Councillor Ha, they don’t have anything to say. Perhaps they want £8086.30 for every word in their statement too…

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