Jim Dowd facing questions over use of Parliamentary funds

Following on from the case of Lewisham East MP Bridget Prentice getting into trouble over how she is using her MP allowances, now it is the turn of Labour MP for Lewisham West, Jim Dowd. As with Bridget Prentice, he looks to be using the funds provided to help him communicate with his constituents to instead publicise his work to other people whose votes he will be wanting at the next general election.

Local Liberal Democrat Alex Feakes writes:

Reports are emerging from residents of Penge that they have received a new publication recently from a politician aspiring to represent them in parliament. The 4-page document, entitled ‘Parliamentary Report’, includes lots of colour photos and clearly has been designed and printed at great cost.

Great cost, that is, to the public purse, as the aspirant is none other than Lewisham West MP Jim Dowd, who’s own constituents will be surprised to learn that he has spent his parliamentary allowances on communicating with residents in Penge, which is next-door Beckenham constituency, and who are currently represented by Jacqui Lait MP.

The fact that Penge will be part of the new Lewisham West & Penge constituency at the next General Election, and that Mr Dowd expects to be the Labour candidate for that seat, is likely to be coincidental. However, some of the Penge residents are less than happy by this misuse of public funds and have, apparently, reported the matter to the relevant authorities.

Trivia fact: Labour MP Glenda Jackson (Hampstead & Highgate) also lives in Lewisham and she has recently agreed to repay the costs of a magazine that had been charged against her allowances but gathered canvassing data for the Labour Party. That makes it three Labour MPs from Lewisham in hot water over allegations around misuse of allowances. Must be something in the water in Lewisham…

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