James Forsyth

Now, the Telegraph shines a light on junior Ministers’ claims

Now, the Telegraph shines a light on junior Ministers' claims
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One doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry reading the Telegraph’s latest piece on MPs’ expenses. The paper reports that:

“Phil Woolas, the Home Office Minister, claimed for items of women's clothing, tampons and nappies. The parliamentary rules only allow expenses which are "exclusively" for MPs' own use so it is not clear these items were justified.”

It should be noted, however, that Woolas denies this. He says that he didn’t claim for these items and that they were just on the same receipts as things he did request reimbursement for.

Margaret Moran, though, is the most sickening case in this batch:

“Margaret Moran, the Labour MP for Luton, spent £22,500 of taxpayers' money treating dry rot at her and her husband's seaside house 100 miles from her constituency – days after switching her "second home" there.

The parliamentary authorities were concerned that the work broke the "spirit" of the rules. However, the MP's claim was not blocked. Miss Moran's expenses appear to be among the most questionable of any MP.

Over four years she also spent thousands of pounds on three separate properties, switching between Westminster, Luton and Southampton and renovating each home in turn.” Greg Barker becomes the first Tory to be drawn into this scandal. He made a considerable profit on a flat he purchased with taxpayer assistance. All Westminster is now waiting to find out what the Telegraph has planned for Sunday.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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