MPs across the region will be forced to sack their wives and husbands under a ban on employing family members expected to be announced within weeks.

Nine North-East and North Yorkshire MPs will be hit if the Kelly inquiry – set up after the expenses scandal earlier this year – rules that relatives should no longer staff their offices.

Sir Christopher Kelly’s Committee on Standards in Public Life is widely tipped to recommend the ban in an explosive report to be issued, appropriately enough, on the eve of Guy Fawkes Night.

But it is certain to trigger a backlash from many of the 202 MPs who employ family members, who believe it fails to take into account the intense nature of their jobs.

The report is also expected to ban taxpayer help to buy second homes, with MPs renting instead.

Some MPs have threatened to take Parliament to an industrial tribunal if the ban goes through, insisting their wife, husband, son, daughter or cousin has a contract of employment.

Last night, Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson led the criticism, describing a ban on employing relatives as “bizarre” and a slur on those staff who perform an excellent job.

The Labour backbencher has employed his long-time partner, Margaret Brown, as his parliamentary assistant since succeeding Tony Blair in a 2007 by-election.

Ms Brown, a graduate of Kings College, London, was previously a partner in a law firm, but opted to work for Mr Wilson – for a much lower salary – because of the round-the-clock requirements of the role.

The MP said: “It will be bizarre if, just because Derek Conway (a Conservative MP) did something wrong, we are all going to be tarred with the same brush.

“People try to make comparisons with jobs in the private sector when they argue for the ban, but I can’t think of a single job that can be compared with working for an MP. And what happens if a romance blossoms between a secretary and an MP and they get married?

Will they be considered inefficient and have to go?”

One family member, employed by a North-East MP, was in tears this week when she learned that the fall-out from the expenses scandal was likely to cost her job.

Labour whips are already bracing themselves for a major revolt, after Prime Minister Gordon Brown pledged to accept Sir Christopher’s recommendations.

Many are already furious at Sir Thomas Legg’s demands, two weeks ago, for repayment of cleaning and gardening claims.

The spotlight first fell on the issue when Mr Conway was revealed to have paid his son, Freddie, more than £40,000 over three years as a researcher, despite him being a student in Newcastle.

North-East and North Yorkshire MPs who employ family members are: Sir Stuart Bell (Middlesbrough), wife, Margaret (office manager); Ronnie Campbell (Blyth Valley), wife, Deirdre (part-time caseworker); David Clelland (Tyne Bridge), wife, Brenda (secretary); Robert Goodwill (Scarborough and Whitby), wife, Maureen (executive secretary); Sharon Hodgson (Gateshead East and Washington West), husband, Alan (senior caseworker); Denis Murphy (Wansbeck), partner, Grace Boyle (senior researcher/parliamentary assistant), and daughter, Deborah (parttime junior secretary); Dari Taylor (Stockton South), daughter, Philippa (caseworker/diary secretary); Phil Wilson (Sedgefield), partner, Margaret Brown (parliamentary assistant); and Iain Wright (Hartlepool), wife, Tiffiny (caseworker).