MPs expenses: some MPs still don’t get it

If being brazenly out of touch with the public mood is your idea of being a top-notch MP, it’s time you started singing the praises of Ann Keen, Jacqui Lait and Harry Cohen. For as the Evening Standard reported yesterday:

Five London MPs are refusing to say if they are being asked to repay part of their Commons expenses.

They are Ann and Alan Keen, the couple dubbed Mr and Mrs Expenses, senior Tories Jacqui Lait and Richard Ottaway and Labour’s Harry Cohen…

Mrs Keen told the Standard to “get stuffed” when approached politely at the Commons.

Her husband Alan also declined to answer questions.

The couple claimed between them almost £40,000 for a central London flat even though their “main residence” was just 10 miles from the Commons.

Ms Lait said her letter from Sir Thomas was “a private and confidential matter”.

She over-claimed on her second home mortgage for three years and had to pay back more than £7,000 after it was spotted by the fees office.

Labour MP Mr Cohen also refused to speak. “It’s a private matter,” said his office.

“Private” matter how you’ve spent public money and whether you’ve been asked to repay any of it? Yes…

You can read the full report here.

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  • ‘Five London MPs are refusing to say if they are being asked to repay part of their Commons expenses’


    Why are the Lib Dems ‘refusing to say’ whether or not Lord Rennard will be repaying the £41,000 he claimed for his second home,was this within the spirit and rules or not,are the allegatuions made by the NoW true or false?
    Lord Rennard was not some minor unheard of MP but the Lib Dem Chief Executive,we had all the Clegg grandstanding on tv about coming down on expense abusers like a’ ton of bricks’ but nothing but a deafening silence since then on this claim.

    Is there something to hide or are we to conclude that the Lib Dems are trying to sweep this under the carpet and hope that the voters will forget about it?

    In the meantime ‘people in glass houses’ etc

  • From the Telegraph:

    ‘In a “pre-meeting” with Commons officials, two MPs – Mr Straw and Nick Harvey, a Liberal Democrat – both appeared to cite examples of expense claims on their own second homes which they said could be “the cause of unwarranted focus” if published’

    Not so whiter than white then,given the size of Mr Harvey’s claims,I can understand why he wanted publication of expenses blocked. .

  • Sorry Mark I forgot to add the size of Mr Harvey’s claims which are detailed in the Telegrapgh.

    ”Mr Harvey has claimed a total of £143,658 for his house in London since 2001, including interest payments on the £340,000 home which last year amounted to £1,258 a month, and £30 per month for his subscription to Sky Sports. ‘

    Staggering abuse of taxpayers money,too cheap to even pay for Sky Sports.

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