Saturday, May 23, 2009

Andrew MacKay bites the dust - now what about Kirkbride?

Well, I suppose it was inevitable. He deserves full marks for chutzpah in trying to brave it out. But finally Cameron has switched off his life support machine. What about Julie Kirkbride now then? If Andrew MacKay needs to stand down for declaring a second home when his wife was also claiming one, then surely she should stand down for exactly the same offence, shouldn't she?
Or to put it another way: MacKay and Kirkbride claimed £280,000 together to pay for two second homes. That's £140,000 too much. So each of them are co-responsible for that, surely. So, you could say, each of them has taken the taxpayer for a ride for £70,000 each, could you not? That's quite a lot of duck islands.

Tory MP Andrew MacKay has announced he will stand down at the next general election after discussing his position with Conservative leader David Cameron.
The Bracknell MP denied that the heavy barracking he received from constituents at a public meeting on Friday night had anything to do with the decision.
He said that he did not want to be a "distraction" for the
Tories going into the next election.
"I understand why people are angry," he said. "I hope my decision to step down goes some way to showing my constituents how sorry I am about my own situation."
Mr MacKay was forced to resign as Mr Cameron's Parliamentary aide earlier this month after it emerged he had been claiming second homes expenses on a property his wife, fellow Tory MP Julie Kirkbride, declared as her main home. The taxpayer had effectively been subsidising both of their properties.
He sought to quell uproar among his constituents on Friday night, only to be jeered and shouted down. Television footage showed him being angrily challenged outside the meeting afterwards.
His decision to quit as an MP came after Mr Cameron telephoned him.
"Following a conversation with
David Cameron this morning (Saturday) I have decided to step down as candidate for Bracknell at the next general election," Mr MacKay said.
"I believe I could be a distraction at a time when he is working to get elected as prime minister with the good working majority necessary to take the tough decisions to turn this country around. I would never forgive myself if my candidature distracted voters from the key issues and particularly David's rousing call for change.
"It has been both a privilege and huge fun to represent the people of Bracknell for 26 years."

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