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Labour MP suspended over expenses

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Kitia, May 16, 2009.

  1. Kitia

    Kitia JF-Expert Member

    May 16, 2009
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    What lessons can Tanzania leaders learn from this?

    [​IMG] David Chaytor was paid thousands for a mortgage on a Westminster fl

    MP David Chaytor has been suspended by the Parliamentary Labour Party amid allegations he claimed money for a mortgage he had already cleared.

    He is the second Labour MP to be suspended and the latest from both main parties to face investigation amid continuing controversy over expenses.
    The Daily Telegraph says the Bury North MP took nearly £13,000 for the flat in London after it was paid off in 2004.
    Mr Chaytor is referring himself to the MPs standards watchdog over the matter.
    Mr Chaytor was quoted by the Telegraph as saying he had made an "unforgivable error in my accounting procedures for which I apologise unreservedly."
    He reportedly told the paper he would immediately arrange repayment to the House of Commons fees office.
    Earlier this week, former farming minister Elliot Morley was suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party after he admitted claiming £16,000 in House of Commons expenses for a mortgage which had been paid off.
    Dewsbury MP Shahid Malik also stood down from his junior minister job on Friday, pending an inquiry into his expenses.
    And on Thursday, Tory MP Andrew McKay quit as a parliamentary aide to party leader David Cameron over what the Conservatives described as an "unacceptable" expenses claim.
    String of allegations
    The Telegraph says Mr Chaytor "flipped" the designation of his second home six times, including once to a house registered in his son's name.
    Other allegations from the Telegraph include:
    • Labour MP, Chris Bryant is accused by the paper of flipping his second home twice in two years. Mr Bryant describes the allegations as unfounded and inaccurate.

    • Former long-serving Labour MP Tam Dalyell is said to have attempted to claim £18,000 for bookcases, two months before retiring from Parliament in 2005.
    He said the Commons fees office eventually paid about £7,800, adding that he was he was "entirely relaxed" about the allegations.
    • Veteran Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman is said to have claimed £1,851 for a rug from a New York antique centre and tried to claim more than £8,000 for a television.
    The paper says he has offered to repay the money for the rug and that he described the television claim as "a bit daft".
    • Conservative MP for Totnes in Devon, Anthony Steen, is said to have claimed £87,000 over four years for his country home, including paying a forestry expert to inspect his trees.
    He told the BBC he was being "pilloried" for the transparency of his claims and that he had never claimed for mortgage interest on the property. He described the expenses system as "appalling" and "unworkable".
    • Liberal Democrat culture spokesman and Teignbridge MP Richard Younger-Ross is revealed to have claimed more than £4,000 for mirrors, a hi-fi, and a £1,475 chest of drawers for his rented London flat. He told the paper he had repaid the money.
    • Tory MP Nadine Dorries denies Daily Telegraph allegations that she spent only free weekends and holidays in the property she calls her main home.
    MP 'flabbergasted'
    Mr Chaytor's wife Sheena said her husband "was very shocked when he heard" of the claims around his expenses, adding that he was "flabbergasted, he could not believe it".
    She said: "He has made a really stupid mistake. It was a mistake but I do not suppose anybody will believe that. I hope so though."
    According to BBC political correspondent Gary O'Donoghue, Downing Street sources said they took the matter "very seriously", and Labour's chief whip would be discussing the matter urgently with Mr Chaytor.
    According to the Guardian, under proposals expected to be approved by Labour's national executive next week, any MPs found making improper expenses claims will be deselected and barred from standing at the next general election.
    Meanwhile the Metropolitan Police Service and Crown Prosecution Service are due to meet next week to discuss whether a criminal investigation should be launched into some of the Telegraph's allegations about MPs.
    It is thought this was partly prompted by a number of complaints from members of the public.