A story in the Daily Mail claims Diane Abbott spent £1,300 of public money on legal advice to impose a 'gagging order' on a former employee. The paper claimed she had taken similar action with three other former employees.
The Mail said: "Four members of her staff have left in the past two years, and Parliamentary sources say she used taxpayers’ money to ensure the silence of three of them. Some Westminster officials believe the use of public money for this purpose should not have been allowed by the fees office."
This comment, which appears later in the story, makes the claims look a little less sinister: "A Commons source tells me: ‘She uses compromise agreements as a formality. Staff agree to sign them because they would get a good reference from her and to prevent any bad-mouthing."
In case the story isn't easy to access later (it doesn't seem to have a web address of its own)- here's Diane's response published by the newspaper:
"Diane, a mother of one, denies any impropriety and, blaming disgruntled former employees, adds: 'MPs' offices commonly have a high staff turnover given that many people wishing to work in an MP’s office are straight out of university.
"Many of my staff have been with me and serving my constituents for as long as 12 years, and all MPs' staff sign confidentiality agreements as a matter of course."