Don’t Blame Me! Says Rent-Swapper Burnham

However bad your Monday morning might be going, at least you aren’t as hard-up as poor old Andy Burnham. Over the weekend he published his heart-wrenching sob story excuse for why he has been outed as a shamed rent-swapper. It almost brought a tear to Guido’s eye:

“After the 2010 Election, IPSA changed the rules to stop MPs claiming for mortgage interest. I wanted to stay at my flat but I could no longer afford to do so and was forced to leave by August 2012. In June this year, I moved to an unfurnished, rented flat in Kennington. I now claim accommodation expenses on this new property alone. I make no claim in respect of the old flat. However, all this has left me in the unusual situation of having a flat in London on which I have a mortgage to pay but where I am unable to live. I don’t want to sell it so have had to rent it out. The rent I receive covers the mortgage, the agents’ management fee and on-going maintenance costs. IPSA is right to prevent MPs making capital gains on properties with the help of the taxpayer. I support rules to stop this. However, I believe they could have been introduced without asking MPs to move to more expensive rented accommodation. If the rules changed again to reflect this, I would move back to my old flat at the earliest opportunity.”

It wasn’t Andy’s fault he had to send the taxpayer the bill, it was the rules of course! He “couldn’t afford” to pay his own way despite earning three times the average wage as an MP. He was “forced to leave” his home and live in an “unfurnished flat” with the plebs in Kennington. Don’t believe the spin, Burnham’s snout is so far in the trough he is fast looking like one of the most piggy MPs. Poor Burnham is financing his buy-to-let scheme and building up a little nest egg courtesy of the taxpayer. He is the highest-profile rent-swapper yet…



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GuidoFawkes Quote of the Day

Labour’s Austin Mitchell muses on the campaign:

“What’s the problem? No use pointing at the leader. Too late to change and unnecessary for Miliband is doing well at Question Time. His problem is connecting with the real world. He doesn`t speak people and his protective team of naive kids are playing West Wing rather than letting the leader relate to real people. We could point at the party, shrunk in numbers and enthusiasm because everything, from policy formulation to candidate selection, comes top down rather than bubbling up from below so campaigning becomes the opium of members deprived of any real role, though they`re not even sure what they’re campaigning about, with or for, but its role is marginal.”

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