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MP's wife is back – but can she cope with 'rude and awkward' local folk?

Staffordshire | News | Published:

The voters of Cannock might be forgiven for thinking they had seen the last of former councillor Jodie Jones after her husband ex-MP Aidan Burley stood down from office in May.

Mr Burley famously hit out at local people in his final Commons speech, thanking his wife, who worked as his office manager, for dealing with 'often the rudest and most awkward constituents' with 'quiet dignity and poise'.

Aidan Burley

But it has emerged that Ms Jones is back in her former role taking calls from constituents in the employ of Cannock's new MP Amanda Milling.

Cannock Chase leader George Adamson has hit out at her appointment, saying it was 'hypocritical' of her to take the job in the circumstances. Councillor Adamson said: "I was very surprised to see her back in Cannock mixing with such 'rude' people. Eyebrows were raised, and not just in the Labour ranks. Let's say it smacks of double standards. At the very least, you wonder how she can do her job properly given how her husband described the people who came them for help."

Mr Burley, who was once a rising star in David Cameron's Conservatives, stood down from the Commons after a single term.

He came in for heavy criticism after it was revealed he attended a stag party in the French Alps in 2011 where the groom wore a Nazi uniform.

He also failed to catch the national mood when he criticised the Olympic opening ceremony as 'leftie multi-cultural' rubbish.

But her new boss said that the former councillor's role was 'a temporary arrangement' only, while she found her feet in her new constituency.

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Ms Milling said: "It was the right thing for the constituency that she stayed on in her role as office manager during the transition period.

Amanda Milling

"It has enabled a seamless transfer and helped me get up and running."

Former Conservative councillor Jodie left the council as an independent for the Rawnsley ward after falling out with her party.

Tory leader Paul Snape said: "I didn't know she was back but as far as I'm concerned, let bygones be bygones. I've moved on and I hope others have too."

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