Quad bikes, window cleaning, beds, life insurance and mock Tudor fireplaces – these are just some of the things that the criminal pirates masquerading as Tory, Labour and Lib-Dem MPs at Westminster have claimed from your tax money as “benefits.”
Tory MP David Maclean claimed £3,300 for a quad bike which he claimed was necessary to get around his constituency in Cumbria. Not too surprisingly, Mr Maclean was also behind a failed bid to exempt MPs and peers from Freedom of Information laws that require public figures to reveal their expenses.
His fellow Tory MEP Giles Chichester sucked £500,000 into “office services” for a business – staffed by his own family and of which he was director. At the time, Mr Chichester had been appointed by Conservative leader David Cameron to ensure that Tory MEPs did not swindle the taxpayers.
Tory MP Derek Conway paid his sons, Henry and Freddie, £80,000 for being his “researchers.” Mr Conway was then exposed by the BNP’s spokesman on law and order, Mr Michael Barnbrook. Mr Conway was ordered to pay back a mere £13,160 after an enquiry found no evidence that Freddie did any research work for his father. He was ordered to cough up around £3,700 for Henry. Further investigations showed that the Conservative MP had spent more than £260,000 of taxpayer’s money in “salaries” to members of his immediate family over a six-year period.
Labour Party MP and former foreign secretary Margaret Beckett claimed more than £6,500 in allowances for gardening expenses at her home in Derby. This included bills for pruning shrubs, trimming the hedges and for dismantling and rebuilding a rockery. In 2006 she also tried to claim £600 in costs for her garden plants.
She was joined in this never-ending swindle by fellow Labour MP Barbara Follet who claimed £1,600 for window cleaning. To make matters worse, the invoices for the window cleaning were made out to her husband, well known fiction author Ken Follett.
Possibly the most outrageous swindler yet is Labour Minister Tony McNulty who claimed more than £60,000 for a “second home” which in fact is where his parents live. There is no excuse whatsoever for this blatant theft from the public purses, as Mr McNulty’s actual residence was only nine miles away from his parents’ house. Mr McNulty would have been arrested and charged with fraud under any normal financial regime.
Not to be outdone in the outrageous stakes was Liberal Democrat MP Mark Oaten. After he was forced to resign over a sex scandal involving male prostitutes, it transpired that he had claimed bedroom furniture and other household items from his Parliamentary allowance.
Labour’s former deputy Prime Minister John Prescott felt the need to redecorate his house in mock Tudor style, putting up reproduction panels and a beautiful fireplace. All very nice one might say — except that the taxpayer paid for all of it.
Labour husband and wife MP duo Alan and Ann Keen spent a mere £175,000 on a “second home” allowance to buy an apartment on the South Bank of the Thames — despite owning a home in Brentford, West London, which is only 30 minutes away by car. Mrs Keen also took out a joint life insurance policy worth £430,000 and claimed back the £867.57 a month premium on her expenses.