British Politics

British Politics

Postby dreamon on Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:08 pm

Smith asked to explain expenses

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has said she will "answer any questions" Parliament's sleaze watchdog has about £116,000 in "second home" expenses.

Ms Smith named her sister's London home as her main residence and her family home in Redditch as her "second home". She insists she has done nothing wrong and that she followed the rules.

But Standards Commissioner John Lyon has asked her to explain claims by her London neighbours she spent as little as two nights a week at that address.

On average, neighbours Dominic and Jessica Taplin say they believe Ms Smith spent three nights a week at the address, based on sightings of the police on duty in the street outside.

Mr Taplin said he wanted to get to the truth of the matter and has also written to the Commons fees office, which looks after MPs' expenses.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/7896783.stm

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Re: British Politics

Postby fishandchips on Thu May 14, 2009 2:45 pm

May 14, 2009
Brown suspends ex-minister Elliot Morley for non-existent mortgage claim
Phillippe Naughton

A former minister was suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party today after it emerged that he had claimed £16,000 in Commons allowances towards a mortgage that he had already paid off.

The action against Elliot Morley, who served as Agriculture Minister under Tony Blair, was announced by Gordon Brown as he launched Labour's campaign for the European and local elections at a school in Derbyshire.

The Prime Minister has so far been wrongfooted by the scandal over MPs expenses, appearing hesitant in contrast to his Tory opposite number, David Cameron, but he promised today that disciplinary action would be taken against any MPs who had abused the rules. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6287708.ece
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Re: British Politics

Postby fishandchips on Fri May 15, 2009 9:39 pm

UK minds will be sharp as calculators at any news of money mismanagement during this economy. Politicians will need to volunteer any spending that is not within the rules or face the papers and angry constituents.

It cannot help that the Olympics three years away gets money for infrastructure but services for citizens including healthcare are always in some financial stress.
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Re: British Politics

Postby CielOnTap on Tue May 19, 2009 2:44 pm

The British Speaker of the House of Commons has a part in the expenses-not-quite-up-to-approved-amounts issue too-he's resigning next month. The matter is getting more interesting by the article. Who will get the job of determining allowable expenses and non-allowable expenses?

A speaker speechless
May 19th 2009
From Economist.com

The speaker resigns after scandal engulfs Britain's Parliament

THE ten-day-old furore surrounding MPs’ exploitation of the lax parliamentary system of expenses and allowances claimed its biggest scalp on Tuesday May 19th. In a terse statement, Michael Martin announced that he would step down as speaker of the House of Commons on June 21st. He had taken this decision, he said, in order to preserve the “unity” of the House, which had been riven in recent days over his future. It was an historic moment: no speaker has been ejected (for Mr Martin’s resignation is anything but voluntary) since 1695.

The prime minister, for his part, then promised sweeping changes, in a press conference called three hours after the speaker’s statement. No longer would Parliament regulate itself like a gentlemen’s club, Gordon Brown said. Expenses and allowances would be determined and policed by an independent body. All parties had agreed to support this approach in principle. No Labour MP who had broken the rules would be allowed to stand for re-election, Mr Brown maintained. http://www.economist.com/world/britain/displayStory.cfm?story_id=13686259&source=features_box_main
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Re: British Politics

Postby deja vu on Thu May 21, 2009 8:25 pm

Heres the pathetic list of spending, including a very spoiled duck.


MP claims $3,000 for home for his duck

Image

The burgeoning scandal over expenses claimed by Britain's 646 Members of Parliament plumbed new levels with news that a Conservative MP claimed almost $3,000 for a "duck house," a five-foot structure that sits in a pond at the home of Sir Peter Viggers, complete with removeable roof for the collection of eggs.

Heres the rest of the list:

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blog ... -duck.aspx
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Re: British Politics

Postby CielOnTap on Fri May 22, 2009 12:16 pm

The British people have read the expense articles for a fortnight and are angry enough to want an immediate national election. Wish we could get them to rile up the Canadians for a second election round here.

Anger in Britain grows over MPs' expenses

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

LONDON – Radio phone-ins in Britain were jammed today with voters debating the merits of an immediate national election amid continuing disclosures about expense account excess by members of Parliament.

For the past 15 days, voters have been greeted by front-page splashes in newspapers detailing MP expense account charges billing taxpayers for items ranging from moat cleaning to floating duck houses, chandelier installation and toilet seats.

The public, facing a challenging economy, is upset with MPs over using taxpayer money for things that have nothing to do with their jobs.

The political future of a senior legislator with the governing Labour party was in doubt today after the newspaper reported he claimed expenses for a London apartment that was home to his grown daughter and that he allegedly tried to cover up the arrangement. http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/638653
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Re: British Politics

Postby CielOnTap on Fri May 22, 2009 10:21 pm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/8039273.stm The list of MPs and their claims, for the inquiring minds amongst you.

Constituency office staff likely are reaching for headache remedies after fielding calls on MP expenses, hmm?
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Re: British Politics

Postby deja vu on Sat May 23, 2009 11:54 am

MP's duck island folly exposed on Google Earth

The infamous £1645 ($A3350) floating "duck island" which has claimed the political scalp of a British MP in the widening expenses row, is visible for all the world to see on satellite images hosted on Google Maps, Google Earth and Microsoft's Live Search Maps.

Conservative MP Sir Peter Viggers bought the wooden structure for the pond at his home in near Gosport in southern England, according to London's Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Sir Peter's estate is clearly visible on the satellite or aerial view, offered by the online mapping services.


http://www.smh.com.au/news/technology/w ... 10263.html


"Sal wanted me to build an island for ducks in the middle of our dew-pond. I could not put in a solid concrete construction as the water levels vary, so I decided to create a floating island," he told the newspaper.



So maybe the wife should pay back the taxpayers? Maybe its time he packed up the family and the duck
and head south for good. Forget waiting for the winter, do it now. I wonder if they will remove the title
"Sir" from his name.
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Re: British Politics

Postby CielOnTap on Thu May 28, 2009 2:55 pm

The attrition of MPs in Britain's Parliament continues. If anything, the MPs are clearly hearing the public on the matter of expenses.

From Times Online
May 28, 2009
MPs to resign over expenses scandal

Two more MPs announced their intention to stand down at the next election today after intense criticism of their parliamentary expenses.

The Tory backbencher Julie Kirkbride followed her husband, Andrew MacKay, in announcing her departure from Parliament. The couple had claimed second-home allowances on two separate properties which meant that neither had a primary residence that they paid for themselves.

At the same time, Margaret Moran, the former Labour whip who represents Luton South, announced that she would also be standing down.

Hours later Christopher Fraser, the Conservative MP for South West Norfolk, became the latest casualty of the scandal, although he cited the ill health of his wife as the reason that he would relinquish his position. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6380132.ece

Britain's satirical press examines the Green Book used by MPs to claim expenses and points out what the MPs did claim:
http://www.private-eye.co.uk/sections.p ... =hp_sauce&
Note the reference to a Gordon Brown:
Slipped quietly into the Income Tax (Earnings & Pensions) Act 2003 by the then chancellor, one G Brown, were a number of exemptions for “special kinds of employee”.


The current Prime Minister has some explaining to do.
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Re: British Politics

Postby no1home on Tue Jun 02, 2009 1:04 pm

Their dropping like flies:


Jacqui Smith is to stand down as home secretary in the cabinet reshuffle, sources close to her have told the BBC. Prime Minister Gordon Brown is set to shake up his cabinet after Thursday's European and English local elections. The source said she was stepping down for her family, who had been "at the forefront" of a row over her expenses. Ms Smith, who wants to remain an MP, was criticised for listing her sister's London house as her main home - and her husband's claim for an adult movie.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/8079205.stm


Is there any one in the cabinet that doesnt have a problem?
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