Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins responds over Â£30k taxpayer-funded 'gag' for ex-aide
Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins has hit back after a national newspaper reported he 'gagged' a former aide with a Â£30,000 taxpayer-funded payout.
According to The Sun, Chris Bowen signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) in December 2017 stopping her from discussing Mr Perkins' alleged behaviour towards her - including claims the Labour MP asked her to work as she grieved for her father.
Mr Perkins - who was elected as the tow'’s MP in 2010 - denied using the NDA to try and 'suppress' the allegations made by Ms Bowen.
He said: "I have a duty of confidentiality with regards to employment matters.
"However, any suggestion of wrongdoing with regard to this are false and potentially actionable.
"I have always taken my responsibilities as an employer and my duty of care for my staff seriously, as can be evidenced by the fact that I am on excellent terms with both current and former staff members."
The Sun said Ms Bowen was paid off via an insurance policy offered to MPs by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.
Also according to The Sun, Mr Perkins allegedly began an affair with married mother-of-two Amanda Collumbine, 47, after making her his top aide.
Mr Perkins, 48, was reportedly confronted by his wife over the alleged affair before being 'kicked out' of the family home.
Mr Perkins said: "Amanda Collumbine is employed by me and we are in a relationship which has been declared to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.
"Amanda now works more hours and has greater responsibility than when she was first employed which explains an uplift in her salary.
"She is paid commensurate to her responsibilities and her contract has been checked by Parliamentary HR and is entirely in keeping with the spirit and letter of the rules."