Friday, April 24, 2009

Leaked email from Tory MP reveals true thoughts on expenses

From the Evening Standard:

A Tory frontbencher has defended MPs' pay and expenses - stressing he did "not intend to become personally poorer" at this stage of his career.
In a leaked email, Laurence Robertson also played down the controversy over
Derek Conway - who was sacked as a Tory MP after paying his son Freddie to "work" for him as a researcher while he was studying at Newcastle University.
The stance taken by Mr Robertson, 51, the shadow
Northern Ireland minister, could prove embarrassing for Tory leader David Cameron as he seeks the moral high ground over MPs' expenses. Mr Robertson has claimed £144,591 in second home allowance over seven years.
Separately, a senior Labour MP attacked
Gordon Brown, Mr Cameron and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg over their plans to overhaul the discredited system of expenses.
Jimmy Hood, MP for Lanark and Hamilton East, says he finds the "spectacle of GB, DC & NC in the proverbial political auction, bidding and counter-bidding against each other embarrassing and unhelpful". The emails leaked to the Standard reveal the huge row going on in
Westminster over the second home allowance and other perks paid to MPs.
Mr Robertson's email said: "Perception in politics is almost everything so, yes, we must be seen to be cleaning up our act. But we should NOT be bounced into a system...simply because the Home Secretary mistakenly claimed less than £10 for a porn film or because another MP employed someone who did very little."

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