The 2010 General Election – a potted history: About 250 Martin Bells and Joanna Lumleys stood for parliament in the next election, targetting all of the worst expenses junkies. Their only policy was to get rid of the porkers and troughers, and their only promises were to stop the gravy train, do away with the Lobby system and ban spin doctors. A minority government took over from Brown (who had lost his seat). The new intake was a very mixed bunch, but they looked after their constituents and made up their own minds in every parliamentary vote. They even read the bills they were voting on. The government had to build consensus ahead of every vote, because it could never be sure of support from the New Peasant Party. At the end of 5 years , and just before it announced its own dissolution, the party notched up one more victory when it succeeded in passing an act outlawing the whipping system.
Hat tip: Mrs Miggins
“From a natural justice perspective I feel a justifiable exception would be the fairest manner to deal with the current situation” â€“ letter from Labour MP in 2006 on why he should be allowed to claim for a Â£3,100 Sony 40 inch TV
“I object to your decision not to reimburse me for the costs of purchasing a baby’s cot for use in my London home…Perhaps you might write to me explaining where my son should sleep next time he visits me in London?” â€“ letter from Labour MP in Nov 2004
“The work surfaces are no longer hygienic and the sink unit, which is an old brown plastic double bowl, is scratched and very ugly” â€“ letter from Conservative MP justifying the Â£5,347.36 cost of his new kitchen at his flat in 2007
“Ref: claim for lounge corner unit: if you feel this is excessive can I say that due to size and layout of the room a normal three-piece suite will not fit. This ‘corner group’ fits perfectly” Labour MP writing to the fees office in August 2006
“Old flat. Facilities out of date. Decrepit. Health reasons. Update. Living in slum. On advice, called in contractor. Recommended kitchen and bathroom replacement” â€“ note made by official in fees office of conversation with Labour MP who had claimed Â£12,400 for work to his flat
“I would be very grateful if (the expenses) could be paid in the last round of the year on Friday. Otherwise I might be in line for a divorce!” â€“ letter from Andy Burnham, the Labour Culture Secretary, in 2005 after making a single claim of Â£16,500 on his London flat.
“Reducing the payment by over Â£1,000 affects my cash flow. Please expedite the payment” â€“ letter from Tory MP whose expenses payment had been reduced by the fees office
“I appreciate you are under severe pressure… but, as I explained on the phone, I am away for two weeks and I don’t want to leave my family destitute” â€“ letter from Labour MP to fees office