Serfs cleared moats in feudal times, Douglas Hogg submitted a receipt to the fees office listing the £2,000 cost of clearing his moat, Sir Michael Spicer, claimed £5,650 in nine months for his gardening and hundreds of pounds for hanging a chandelier in his main manor house.
David Heathcoat-Amory makes us pay for his shit, literally, with £380 claimed for horse manure for his garden.
David Davis, who made his name as a hawkish fiscal disciplinarian on the Public Accounts Select Committee, disappointingly spent more than £10,000 of taxpayers’ money on doing up the house and buying soft furnishings.
Michael Ancram, (the Marquess of Lothian), claims tens of thousands for the upkeep of his £8 million of properties.
Sir Alan Haselhurst, the Deputy Speaker, claimed £142,119 for the upkeep of his country home, despite having no mortgage to pay.
James Arbuthnot and Stewart Jackson have the good sense to have promised last night to repay their pool cleaning claims. Notice this is only for a few hundred pounds, not exactly a great hardship.
Sorry won’t be enough. They should all pay back the money they have claimed for feather-bedding their nests. Members are responsible for the probity and propriety of claims submitted. This bluster about it all being approved by the Fees Office, therefore it is not down to the individual MP, is spin and an abdication of responsibility by those culpable. The rules are very clear, in signing for allowances, “the MP’s signature verifies that the expenditure was wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred in the performance of their duties”.
Swimming pools, roses and chandeliers are not necessary for the performance of an MP’s duties. We want our money back, sorry won’t be good enough. No matter how grand, no matter what the excuse, no matter which party. If they won’t give it back, we want them sacked.