Did a Tory member leak the MP expenses?
Lord Naseby, a Conservative peer and former deputy speaker, said that the standing of Parliament had been brought “right down into the pits” and there may be a need for an immediate general election.
Michael Gove, the shadow education secretary, spent more than £7,000 in five months furnishing a London property in 2006 before “flipping” his second home designation to a new property he bought in Surrey. He then claimed more than £13,000 in stamp duty and other fees from his Parliamentary expenses for this property. Mr Gove’s behaviour surprised colleagues because the former journalist was only elected in 2005 and is close to Mr Cameron.
Andrew Lansley, the shadow health secretary, spent thousands of pounds renovating a thatched Tudor country cottage shortly before selling it. He redecorated inside and out with premium paint at a cost of £2,000 and re-shingled the driveway. He then “flipped” his expenses to a Georgian flat in London where he claimed for thousands of pounds in furnishings including a Laura Ashley sofa.
Francis Maude, the shadow minister for the cabinet office, attempted to claim the mortgage interest on his family home in Sussex. This arrangement was rejected by the Fees Office. Two years later, Mr Maude bought a flat in London a few minutes walk from a house he already owned. He then rented out the other property and began claiming on the new flat: the taxpayer has since covered nearly £35,000 in mortgage interest payments.
Chris Grayling, the shadow home secretary, claimed thousands of pounds to renovate a London flat 17 miles from his family home. Mr Grayling already owned three properties within the M25 but still bought the flat with loans subsidised by the taxpayer. He then claimed for work on the property for up to a year after it was carried out. This enabled him to claim close to the maximum amount allowable under the expenses system during different years.
Cheryl Gillan, the shadow Welsh secretary, claimed for dog food on her expenses. Last night, she said that she would repay the money.
Not all members of the shadow Cabinet were implicated. Mr Cameron and William Hague, his deputy and shadow foreign secretary, both had relatively straightforward claims. George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, claimed for a chauffeur using his office allowance.
Cameron doesn't need to steal from taxpayers. Cameron was educated at Eaton and has a personal fortune of £31 million. You don't get more distant from the working class than that!