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Rising British Labour Party star quits over expenses scandal

Discussion in 'Biashara, Uchumi na Ujasiriamali' started by Limbukeni, May 28, 2009.

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    Limbukeni Senior Member

    May 28, 2009
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    Rising British Labour Party star quits over expenses scandal : UK World

    London - A rising star in Britain's ruling Labour Party Friday became the first member of Prime Minister Gordon Brown's government to step down in a widening scandal over parliamentary expenses. Shahid Malik, a junior minister in the Justice Ministry, who in 2005 became the first British-born Muslim to be elected to parliament, said he had "nothing to apologize for" but would leave his post pending an inquiry.

    Malik, 41, had been named Friday by the Daily Telegraph newspaper in connection with an escalating scandal over expenses claimed by MPs for second homes.

    In his case, the documentation showed that he claimed a record 66,827 pounds (101,500 dollars) in expenses over three years for his London home, while paying just 100 pounds a week in rent for his "main home" in his constituency in Dewsbury, in the county of Yorkshire in northern Britain.

    He had also claimed for a sophisticated home cinema system and a massage chair, the Daily Telegraph said.

    Malik, considered to be one of the Labour Party's rising stars, was given his ministerial job by Brown in a reshuffle a year ago, after previous jobs in education and development aid under ex-prime minister Tony Blair.

    When he was elected to parliament in 2005, he pledged to work for greater justice and equality for Britain's Pakistani community. He also played a key role in efforts to foster community cohesion following the 2005 suicide terrorist attacks in London.

    Malik said Friday that the claims submitted by him had been in accordance with the rules. Unlike some other MPs, he had not claimed for a "helipad, tennis court or country estate," he said.

    He urged the media to stop the "bloodfest" unleashed on parliamentarians over the expenses saga.