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The Labour politician with the highest expenses claim of any London MP has denied that he was cheating taxpayers by claiming a second-home allowance while maintaining that his main home is a single-bedroom schoolhouse and seaside caravan 70 miles from his constituency.
Defiant Left-winger Harry Cohen said: 'When MPs were given this allowance they were told "Go and spend it, boys" and that is what I have done. It is my right.'
His comments come as The Mail on Sunday launches a petition to demand a full enquiry into MPs' expenses, to report within three months and NOT after the general election as is currently suggested.
The amount they claim, what they do with the money - and whether it's justified - has become a hardy perennial of the Westminster working week.
This time it's the employment minister, Tony McNulty, who is in the firing line.
Questions are being asked about whether, since 2002, he was entitled to claim a figure, believed to be around £60,000, for a house which he owns, but is used by his parents, in his Harrow East constituency.
A list detailing how MPs can spend £22,000 of taxpayers' money on household goods has been revealed.
It was disclosed they can claim up to £10,000 for a kitchen, buy televisions and music systems worth £750 apiece and pay £6,335 for a bathroom out of their parliamentary allowances.
The amounts MPs can claim under their controversial expenses regime were disclosed by the House of Commons after a Freedom of Information Act request from the Press Association.
Originally posted by SphinxMontreal
Who gives a flying fudge about this bastard anyway?
Originally posted by Ste2652
This has been going on for decades in Parliament on all sides.
I know not all MPs are doing this kind of thing. There are some thoroughly decent people in Parliament, but there are also a significant number who don't deserve to be there.
Originally posted by berenike
The scandal of MPs' second homes wouldn't be that difficult to rectify, but I doubt they would agree to my suggestion.
Just have serviced blocks of apartments near Parliament and each MP that needed it could be allocated one.
Originally posted by berenike
reply to post by Merriman Weir
You can tell I don't keep up with events very well
I was thinking further that if all these apartments were furnished, every few years or so they could be upgraded and the old furniture, TVs, computers etc (in good condition) could be distributed to the needy.
'We were told: Go and spend it, boys,' says MP who claimed £310,000 for his holiday home
Originally posted by skibtz
Being able to mute the MP's juvenile barracking with the push of a button would be dream come true for the Speaker of the House I should imagine