IT seems unbelievable that Darlington Labour borough councillor Cyndi Hughes should complain about present government funding for schools (HAS, July 13) when she is the wife of and also head of staff for North-East Labour MEP Stephen Hughes – the same European Parliament towards whose budget the taxpayer will have to commit nearly an extra third from this year.

If that wasn’t bad enough, this couple refused to answer questions from the Sunderland-based Metric Martyrs Campaign and me about their seemingly cheap rental arrangement at Durham County Hall.

Persistent Freedom of Information requests revealed an annual office rent of £1,000 to £1,642 over an 18-year period and after review, instigated by persistent requests, the rental is now £4,725, but with half the size of office space – so for years the rental ought to have been nearer £10,000 and not £1,000.

With an annual office allowance of about £45,000, perhaps Coun and Mr Hughes might have the good grace to repay the Durham taxpayer the difference over 18 years.

If not, then perhaps Labour-run Durham County Council ought to admit to gross incompetence in allowing the Durham taxpayer to subsidise Mr Hughes’ office for 18 years.

Jim Tague, Bishop Auckland.