Pressure grows on Jacqui Smith over expense claims

The former chairman of the Standards Committee, Sir Alistair Graham, has acquired rather a habit of speaking out bluntly to put pressure on MPs over their standards and he’s done it again on Newsnight:

“It must not look as if you’re manipulating expenses for your own financial gain.”

If it is found Ms Smith resides in her London home more nights a week than her Redditch home, he said: “She’ll be in the clear in the sense of the rules, but in the sense of her political career – she won’t be.” (PoliticsHome)

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  • Isn’t it a debateable point whether primary residence requires you to stay there for a majority of nights (or are there some firm rules on that point)

    What might be interesting is if someone investigated what address she had on the ballot paper at the last election, what address she uses for tax purposes, where her car(s) are registered, where her bank statements/credit card bills go to etc.

    Those, IMO are more indicative of where your primary residence is.

    And of course making statements like “She still lives in Redditch with husband, Richard and sons James (13) and Michael (8).” are indicative of what she regards as her primary residence.

  • Hywel
    “Isn’t it a debateable point whether primary residence requires you to stay there for a majority of nights (or are there some firm rules on that point)”

    The Green Book on Parliamentary Salaries, Allowances and Pensions (2005) says:
    “If you have more than one home, your main home will normally be the one where you spend more nights than any other.”

  • Simon Wilson 19th Feb '09 - 10:38am

    As Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith has 24 hour police protection. Presumably then, her movements and living arrangements must be reocrded somewhere.

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