The television cameras really shouldn’t make a difference

Dame Vivienne Westwood's global empire has come under fire for saving money by hiring unpaid interns. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

LESLEY KEATING: You can be paid way beyond financially as an intern

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I was reminded recently about the old adage that if you can’t say anything nice about someone, don’t say anything at all.

It’s one of the reasons why I haven’t written in this column about Nick Griffin, leader of the BNP, recently being declared bankrupt.

I met him once. And that’s all I have to say.

So when I read some of the comments about Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt taking part in a reality TV show, that phrase was on the tip of my tongue.

She is my MP, as I live in her constituency. And I have no problem with her going on Splash! this coming weekend.

I suppose I know more than most the hours our MPs and councillors put in, having often had to call them at odd hours and on weekends.

They are public servants, so their time never really seems to be their own.

But even they’re allowed some time off to do what they want.

Penny is a naval reservist, so often takes part in sea training and has also been deployed overseas.

She does it in the parliamentary recess and no-one bats an eyelid.

I suspect some of that training involves a swimsuit, so what’s the difference between navy training and a diving challenge, if they’re both done outside of parliamentary commitments?

It’s the TV cameras, of course.

Never mind that she’ll be raising £10,000 for her constituency charity the Hilsea Lido, and never mind that she’ll also be urging people to donate to several other charities.

Oh no. Apparently her appearance on the show is abhorrent, not to be tolerated and, if you listen to some of the keyboard warriors who like to troll on the internet (and who would probably mess their underwear if they ever left their caves for long enough to get into a face-to-face confrontation) she should resign.

Should we make MPs resign for eating? Sleeping? Walking the dog in their own time?

I don’t like reality TV shows with celebrities on them, mainly because they’re boring and I don’t know who anyone is. But I’ll probably watch this one – after all, there’s a Pompey girl on the telly.