Saturday, 16 May 2009
What They Said
Shahid Malik: "I'm as straight as they come"
Hazel Blears: “I have heard absolutely the outrage and the anger that the public feel about what has been going on. I would never do anything to let down the people that I represent and serve and that is the most important thing for me. It isn’t just enough to claim within the law, that is why I have decided to send to the inland revenue a cheque. "
Douglas Hogg: "I have never claimed for the moat, or for the piano tuning - the allegation that I did is incorrect. I never claimed for these and I never received any money."
Lembit Opik: "I may have been within the rules. It's equivocal.
Peter Mandelson: "Perhaps we need not more people looking round more corners but the same people looking round more corners more thoroughly to avoid the small things detracting from the big things the Prime Minister is getting right."
Andrew George: "This story's main allegation appears to be that I have a London flat that is sometimes visited by my daughter, who lives elsewhere in London."
Chris Huhne: “My aim on second home claims has always been to avoid controversy, which is why they are 17 per cent of the allowable maximum and rank me as 580th out of the 620 MPs entitled to claim the allowance.”
Richard Younger-Ross: "I was given no advice on how to spend my allowances for living in London, except that it should not include luxury or antique items. However, what I did not at the time consider to be luxury items, and what the House of Commons did not advise me were luxury items, clearly now are considered as such."
Tam Dalyell: "I did not want cheap bookcases."
Mark Lazarowicz: "Why on earth am I bothering to pay back the money?"
Clare Short: "I was embarrassed and irritated that it took the fees office so long to pick this up."
Alan Duncan: "A good reputation is far more important to me than being able to claim expenses under the flawed system that exists. I would far rather, given the understandable anger that people feel, return the money I have been permitted to claim and pay the bills myself."
Margaret Beckett: “When you are particularly busy you don’t always do things properly.”
Teresa May: “Unfortunately what happened was there was an assumption from a lot of MPs that the money was there and in some sense it was there as an allowance that they were entitled to rather than as expenses, and that was wrong.”
Michael Gove: “I do believe there were one or two occasions where I spent more money than I
Jack Straw: “Accountancy does not appear to be my strongest suit.”
Margaret Moran: “I have to have a proper family life and I can’t do that unless I share the costs of the Southampton home with him.”
Alistair Darling: “The claims were made within House of Commons rules which were designed to reflect the fact that MPs have to meet the cost of living in two places.”
Lord Mandleson: “The fact is that these allowances would not have been paid if they weren’t within the rules.”
James Arbuthnot: “The claims were an error of judgment on my part.”
Posted by Hacked Off at 08:41