The Telegraph Expenses Files on the shadow Cabinet disclose that:
- 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.
The disclosures underline the cross-party nature of the parliamentary expenses scandal.
George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, claimed for a chauffeur using his office allowance.
Your humble Devil has run out of words to describe how unacceptable all of this is—it is wrong, and these fuckers knew that it was wrong.
Last night Mr Cameron, the Conservative leader, apologised for the way in which the expenses system had been used by many MPs. “We have to acknowledge just how bad this situation is and just how angry the public are,” he said. “We have to start by saying that the system we had and used was wrong and that we are sorry about that.”
Oh, do fuck off!
You are only sorry because you have been caught—I have not heard one MP put his or her hands up and say, "yes, I played the system for personal financial gain. I may have obeyed the letter of the rules, but I absolutely did not obey the spirit. I'm a disgusting, venal piece of shit who should be flogged through the streets of London."
OK, I admit that no MP will use these exact words, but I am, quite seriously, fed to the back teeth of these bastards blaming the system—a system, not incidentally, that they put in place.
Although it does seem that Cameron himself has been relatively circumspect.
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.
I'm glad to hear it: unfortunately, it seems that they are the exception rather than the rule. It doesn't fill me with confidence that the Tories are going to be any better in government than Labour.
The simple fact is that if we cannot trust MPs to manage their own finances in a responsible and honest way, then why the living fuck should we trust them with yet more of our cash?
These bastards are now spending some £650 billion every year—£650 billion that is extorted by force from the taxpayers of this country.
Many of them are making frivolous and unnecessary claims on their expenses whilst at the same time bleating about how they can save public money through "efficiency savings". Naturally, these savings will come from cutting other people's salaries, and other people's expenses accounts, and other people's budgets, and other people's jobs.
None of this is a bad thing but just suppose, my masters, that you start with your own salaries, and your own expenses, and your own budgets, and your own jobs? How about your share that pain, eh?
Most importantly, you must repeal any and all exemptions from the taxes that the rest of us have to live under—yes, I am thinking specifically of the exemption from tax on benefits in kind, that you voted for yourselves in 2003. But I am sure that there are more.
My lords and masters: you have been found wanting in the honesty department; you have been found wanting in the competence department; you have been found wanting in the probity department.
The time for justifying your renumeration is long gone; with 80% of our laws now made in Brussels, and with your corruption exposed, it is time for you to justify your very existence.