The restoration of Andrew George?

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.

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  • On April 6th a new maternity grant came into force – £190 to help pregnant women buy food in the last weeks of their pregnancy.

    It is Lib Dem policy to oppose this grant yet one of our MPs thinks it’s OK to claim £1,657.32 for food in a four-month period.

  • Isn’t it rather unusual for students to live in halls of residence out of term time?

  • Heh, I was about to challenge your piggy ratings on the other thread, but since you’ve been so fair-minded about Andrew George I’ll have to forego my indignant comment! I still think you’re being too harsh on Ming, and overall I’m struggling to find anything in our MPs claims to complain about.

    Unless the Telegraph has anything else they haven’t yet published, I’m feeling pretty good about being a Lib Dem today.

    @ Anonymous1 – not really, it depends if the student wants to go home for the whole holidays or not. When I was at uni, lots of people stayed on in halls out of term time, either to party (London being more exciting than most of our home towns), or to earn some cash with a holiday job, or even (very) occasionally to revise…

  • Alix Mortimer 13th May '09 - 11:41am

    “When I was at uni, lots of people stayed on in halls out of term time”

    Likewise. And especially so if you’re a young thing (ooh, hark at me) offered a choice between Cornwall and London, where you often get to see your dad anyway.

  • Cornish and proud 13th May '09 - 3:36pm

    “offered a choice between Cornwall and London”

    And you have the cheek to accuse the Telegraph of being London centric!

    Let me think, where would I rather spend my uni holidays? In beautiful Cornwall with dozens of beaches, festivals, and as many clubs, bars and restaurants as you could want or in over-crowded, high-crime, land-locked London where everything is overpriced? Tough choice.

  • I see that Ms George has a Parliamentary pass, so presumably she undertakes some Parliamentary function for Mr G too? And advertises her vital statistics on a respectable modelling site:

    Nothing wrong with any of this, but clearly a busy student indeed!

  • Martin Kinsella 17th May '09 - 2:11pm

    George has his snout in the trough, this attempt to exonerate him is shameful.

    He brings shame on our party.

    Not as bad as the likes of Elliot Morley, Shahid “It’s only £730” Malik and Cheater Chaytor but all the same your one-eyed partisan post only holds water if you take everything Andrew George says on face value.

    I don’t.

  • Alix Mortimer 17th May '09 - 2:35pm

    Martin, you really haven’t paid much attention to my coverage, have you. Please look at my previous posts. I’ve ladled out blame with a bucket where I think it’s deserved (and I still might ladle out some blame on Alan Reid – I think his second constituency home does need investigating, on the basis of what “donald” says above). You have absolutely no grounds whatsoever for accusing me of one-eyed partisanship.

    Do you or do you not believe that George pays for one third of the flat himself? If you don’t and you have evidence that he doesn’t, then let’s hear it.

  • Martin Kinsella 17th May '09 - 3:51pm

    I am happy to wait for the result of an independent inquiry rather than taking what Mr George says on face value.

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