There was a question over how much secretarial work Tina actually did for her publicly funded wages. This came about after Tina told BBC's Newsnight that she only posted letters and "took the odd phone call" and passed on messages "once or twice a week". I think it is entirely possible that Tina modestly played down her roll. After all, Caroline was using her home as her constituency office at the time, and it is highly unlikely that the office received only one or two phone calls a week.
To clear the matter up, Tina issued a statement today:
"During the period of 1997 to 1998, I had two roles, one helping Mrs Spelman with childcare and another providing secretarial help to her as a MP. "My roles and responsibilities were general administration which entailed tasks such as posting of letters, answering phone calls at the home address, (and) faxing or posting documents to Mrs Spelman whilst she was in London. "This was performed during the hours that her children were at school. On Fridays any help with directions to constituency events was given."Caroline has referred the matter to the parliamentary standards commissioner. I have a feeling that Caroline did not break the rules, but did put herself in a position where her actions could be questioned - innocent or not. I also feel that this has been a storm in a very old teacup