The former LibDem MP for Dunfermline, Willie Rennie, abused his constituency expenses and has been ordered to pay back £2,647 wrongly claimed from his Incidental Expenses Provision after the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner John Lyon found he had over- claimed for office costs.
Despite this Danny “Beaker” Alexander (pictured) the newly appointed Chief-Secretary to the Treasury, has given Rennie a job as his SpAd after he lost his seat to Labour in the general election. Willie Rennie was using a scam widespread amongst LibDem MPs, renting his constituency office off his local LibDem constituency party and shifting his campaign costs onto his parliamentary expenses. It is usually difficult to prove, Rennie was unlucky to get caught, it was only that his campaign team made canvassing telephone calls to Labour activists from a phone number paid for out of parliamentary funds that also appeared on his party letterhead that did for him.
Willie Rennie (pictured here after his famous 2006 by-election victory) was according to a report by Campbell Gunn in the Scottish Sunday Post (not online) renting the office space off his party, which meant that Commons expenses cash was going directly into the local LibDem coffers. Effectively the local LibDem party was his landlord and taxpayers’ money was being used for LibDem campaigning. Not a frugal sign from the right-hand-man of a Chief Secretary charged with cutting public expenditure.
This scam is widespread among LibDem MPs and unofficially it is Cowley Street’s policy to manipulate the Commons expenses regime in this way. When Guy News reported that Sarah Teather abused the system in the same way she sent lawyer’s letters demanding a retraction and threatening legal action.
Guido refused to back off and still stands by the story…