James Gray is widely perceived to be a cad. He barely held on to his seat when efforts were made by disgusted Tories to deselect him over his treatment of his wife when she had cancer – he left her for his mistress. The mistress’ husband was quoted as saying that James Gray is full of “sanctimonious, self-serving drivel.”
The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Sir Philip Mawer, “encouraged” him to repay payments to his ex-wife of £12,000 from his Commons expenses between last October and February, when the payments were exposed in the Mail on Sunday. Ordinary people caught defrauding the public purse get prosecuted, when MPs get caught they just repay the money. Disgraced Blunkett fiddled his expenses for his mistress, got caught and repaid the money he defrauded “by mistake”. What will it take for an MP to be prosecuted?
Scores of MPs fiddle their mortgage expenses, pay spouses and offspring to do non-jobs, whilst claiming allowances to which they are not really entitled. The sums are not insignificant, but the principle that law makers should not be law breakers is more important than the size of the fiddle. This is stealing from the public purse, defrauding the taxpayer. MPs complain that the public don’t trust them.
Can’t politicians see that their transparently venal ways are a large part of the problem?