Conservative MPs pay back expenses claimed

Conservative MPs Arbuthnot and Ancram said they would pay back expenses claimed from the Commons Fees Office. Arbutnot described his claim as an error of judgement. Quite so.

The Telegraph writes that Ancram claimed £98.58 for repairs to his swimming pool boiler, but insisted that all his other claims were necessary for maintaining his property, saying: “None of the other items were extravagant or luxurious.”

Ancram also requested reimbursement of £1,117.43 for a gardening bill which included “cleaning up moss etc” on the house in the Vale of Pewsey, Wiltshire.

He said yesterday: “I have always made sure that I did not claim for anything which enhanced the property.

“I should point out that I have not taken my pay increase this year because I felt in the economic circumstances it was wrong. I do take a very strong exception to any suggestion that this was enhancing my property or that my claims were financially beneficial.”

This case is galling, because Ancram is clearly a man of means and shouldn’t be sucking at the taxpayer’s teat. He has saved some face by assuriing us that he will pay it back.

On the face of it, Ancram’s claims are chicken-feed compared to claims from McNulty, Jackboot Smith, Alistair Darling and a host of others – which I would describe as fraud. Certainly, if you or I were to try to get away with the same thing, we’d be fired, done for fraud and would have he Inland Revenue feeling our collars. This immoral, dishonest bunch haven’t even received a public rap on the knuckles.

That disgusts people.


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