Fraser Nelson

Has Eric Pickles seen the light on expenses?

Has Eric Pickles seen the light on expenses?
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Eric Pickles says his Question Time disaster last week was a "car crash" which has changed his views on MPs expenses. He opens his heart to Andrew Neil in Straight Talk, being shown on BBC News Channel this weekend.

"You're just trying to steer away and the more I tried to steer away the worse it was. You could see the conclusion coming and I made the mistake of making actually quite a trivial point ... but it has changed my views."

 

And how? He says a "completely different system" is needed for expenses "on the basis where it's a lot less."

"I cannot justify members of parliament claiming flat-screen televisions, buying beds, buying three-piece suites, buying cookers, buying microwaves. And the fact is, I have never done that and would never dream of doing that – as we say up north, 'I buy me own bed' – doesn't in any way make me less guilty. It's the fact I can."

Written byFraser Nelson

Fraser Nelson is the editor of The Spectator. He is also a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Social Justice and the Centre for Policy Studies.

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