There’s no peace for a blogger this morning. Earlier today I gave Andrew George, whose flat is sometimes used by his daughter, a stern 4/5 for piggy-wiggyness. My basis for this was that, whatever the precise ratio of usage between Andrew and his daughter, I didn’t want to pay for something that was for her benefit as well as his.
Andrew has just made the following statement on his website:
Fact 1: We purchased nearly 1/3 of the flat ourselves and bought half of the furniture and fittings without making a claim from taxpayers’ money.
Fact 2: My daughter was living in a student hall of residence elsewhere in London throughout the period of the claim the Telegraph refers to. Before that she lived elsewhere in London – not in my flat.
Fact 3: They didn’t tell their readers that they sent a snooper around to my flat for the whole morning but failed to get a picture of my daughter leaving it.
Fact 4: I have long argued that MPs should not be able to “profit” from the allowance regime and that we should be required to sell our flats back at cost and give back furniture so that Parliament could build up a portfolio of furnished flats to rent back to MPs.
Fact 5: As I own 1/3 of the flat anyway I believe that it is reasonable for me to allow any member of my family to visit or stay in the spare room at any time.
Facts 1/5 somewhat blows the Telegraph’s objections – and mine – out of the water. Unless Andrew’s daughter really is living there more than a third of the time, her usage is covered by the third of the flat which is privately owned.
Andrew finishes with this defiant statement:
From now on my family will come and stay with me at the flat more not less. We should encourage families to be together.
EDIT: Oh, you were all taking my piggy-wiggy ratings seriously? Aargh… Well, in the circumstances, I’d say George drops a full three points to a modest 1/5 unless and until it can be proven that his daughter really does use the flat a lot of the time. He retains the 1 because of possible question marks over the timing and nature of some of his furniture purchases.