The Telegraph: descending into gutter reportage

Two more Lib Dem MPs’ expense details are now in the public domain, bringing the total to ten.

Nick Harvey

Has a £30 subscription to Sky Sports at his second home. Pay attention, football fans, Sky Sports =/= necessary to perform the duties of an MP. Not a huge sum, but still. 2/5

Alan Reid

Now, at the time of writing Alan Reid’s page isn’t linked from the Telegraph’s main Lib Dem Expenses feed page, and to be honest I wonder if that’s because they’re bloody ashamed of it. They ought to be.

He does not claim for a second home. He claims for London hotels instead – costing about £8,500 in 2004/05 (and you can be sure the Telegraph have cherry-picked the most expensive year). He also uses his ACA to claim B&B expenses for his summer tour of his constituency, Argyll and Bute, which Ask Aristotle at the Guardian profiles as follows:

vast seat on west coast of Scotland; west of Glasgow; includes many remote islands

Here it is highlighted in red:


Not quite Hampstead and Highgate, is it, hack-faced Tele-jackals? This is what Alan has to say about it:

Unfortunately, on occasion it is impractical to travel home at night; even within my own constituency due to a lack of ferries. The Fees Office sometimes rejected my claims due to a lack of understanding of the geography of my constituency. I have usually challenged these rejections and any challenge has succeeded.

As if all this wasn’t bad enough, the Telegraph also “reports” that:

One of the receipts states that he stayed at the B&B with a young woman who is now a Liberal Democrat campaigns officer, although they paid for separate rooms and he did not claim back the cost of hers.

Oh please, say what you mean.

I’ve not been backward in handing out piggy-wiggy points this morning to Lib Dems where they’re due – and some think I’ve been too harsh – but this is just ridiculous. Unless there’s anything more substantial than this sorry lot of London-centric drivel and irrelevant insinuation, it’s 0/5 and a small tray of milk chocolates for Alan.

Absolutely disgusting show from the Telegraph.

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  • Maybe the suggestion is that they should have shared a bed, split the cost of the room, and saved the taxpayer some money?

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