Thursday, 4 February 2010

MPs expenses. Tories win first prize!

I have wondered ever since all this stuff broke how the Tories have managed to spin  this as more of a Labour issue. One of the first things to come out of the Legg report is that 5 out of the top 6 amounts to be paid back are from Tories.

  1. £42,458 by Barbara Follett (Lab, Stevenage), 
  2. £36,909 by Bernard Jenkin (Con, North Essex), 
  3. £31,193 by Andrew Mackay (Con, Bracknell), 
  4. £29,398 by John Gummer (Con, Suffolk Coastal), 
  5. £29,243 by Julie Kirkbride (Con, Bromsgrove) 
  6. £24,878 by Liam Fox (Con, Woodspring).
Its also intersting that despite Cameron's protests  that nobody should appeal some of the more egregious abusers still did. From the Telegraph

The appeals list naming current and former MPs seen by The Sunday Telegraph includes Vera Baird, Stephen McCabe, Dan Norris, Frank Roy, Claire Ward, Phil Woolas and Michael Foster — all of whom are current ministers or government whips. They are joined by two Tory frontbenchers, Ed Vaizey and Julian Lewis, and Michael Howard, the former Conservative leader.
Others who appealed included:
  • Sir Peter Viggers, the Tory MP who included with his expense claims the £1,645 cost of a floating duck house at his Hampshire home.
  • Kitty Ussher, who resigned as Treasury minister when it was found she avoided paying up to £17,000 in tax on the sale of her constituency home.
  • Douglas Hogg, the former Tory minister, who included with his expenses claims the cost of having his moat cleared, piano tuned and stable lights fixed at his country manor.
  • Andrew MacKay and Julie Kirkbride, the Conservative husband-and-wife MPs who made claims that meant they effectively had no main home but two “second homes”, both funded with public money.
The release of the names of those who have fought the process is significant, not least because David Cameron, the Conservative leader, told his shadow cabinet not to lodge appeals because to do so would anger voters.
More to come when I've had a chance to read it all!

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