Monday, 1 June 2009

Excuses, Excuses

Ben Chapman on overclaiming £15,000 on his mortgage - "It is clear that I was mislead by the fees office into the arrangement in question."

Bill Wiggin on claiming claimed £11,000 in phantom mortgage payment - "I think people need to realise we are but human."

Anthony Steen on spending tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money on his million-pound country home - "I've done nothing criminal, that's the most awful thing, and do you know what it's about? Jealousy. I've got a very, very large house. Some people say it looks like Balmoral. It's a merchant's house of the 19th century. It's not particularly attractive, it just does me nicely."

Stewart Jackson on why he claimed for maintenance of his swimming pool - "The pool came with the house and I needed to know how to run it. Once I was shown that one time, there were no more claims. I take care of the pool myself. I believe this represents 'value for money' for the taxpayer."

Lord Mandelson, Business Secretary, who decorated his house after announcing he would stand down as an MP - "The fact is that these allowances would not have been paid if they weren't within the rules."

Jack Straw, Justice Secretary, who claimed for double the amount of council tax he had paid - "This, if I may say so, is the kind of thing that might happen not just to Members of Parliament. It is an error, which obviously I wish hadn't happened, but in circumstances in which I was incredibly busy during that period - that is not an excuse, it is just an explanation."

Douglas Hogg on why he was repaying the cost of maintaining his moat when he had insisted he had never claimed it in the first place - "I recognise that the clearing of the moat was not positively excluded from the claim."

Margaret Moran, backbench Labour MP for Luton who claimed for dry rot treatment at the Southampton home where her husband is based - "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. Any MP has to have a proper family life, they have to have support of their partner. I defy anybody to try and do a proper job, much less an incredibly pressured job, in which you work all hours, in the constituency, in Westminster and incredible pressure all the time.”

Phil Woolas, Immigration Minister, who claimed for supermarket bills which included nappies and women’s clothes - "What I have done is put receipts through from Tesco or wherever, but then claimed on the expenses form for the food and not for the other stuff. It is untrue that I claimed these things. It misunderstands the system. The receipts are there, but I never asked for or got money for these items. To suggest otherwise is disgusting."

A day later, on being shown his claim which showed he had claimed for the full receipt - "I take your point and I understand the extrapolation.' I am being hung out to dry for being honest. The key points to remember is that I don't need to submit receipts to back the claims and I could have actually claimed £400 for the food."

John Gummer, former Conservative agriculture minister who claimed for a mole catcher - "I have only ever claimed the relevant proportion of the costs of necessary maintenance and repairs of an old rural property.”

Shaun Woodward, Northern Ireland Secretary, appearing on the BBC’s Politics Show - "I have just had a cup of tea in the green room getting ready for this programme, and there were biscuits next to the make-up tray. The BBC is funded by the taxpayer. Those biscuits were actually paid for by a taxpayer. I have, in my office, claimed for biscuits for my constituents. So my constituents should not have biscuits, but someone coming on this programme should?”

David Willetts, shadow schools secretary, who claimed to have 25 light bulbs replaced - "We had problems with our lighting system which had caused many lights to fuse and needed the attention of an electrician."

Andrew George, Liberal Democrat MP, who claimed for a flat which his daughter stayed in - "A third of the flat's cost was paid directly by me without taxpayer support. Is The Telegraph suggesting that my family should not be able to visit me in London?"

Chris Huhne, Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, who claimed for the cost of a trouser press which was bought at his main London home - "The trouser press was taken to my Eastleigh home for use before constituency events, but I have repaid the cost of £119 as my aim on second home claims has always been to avoid controversy.”

Lembit Opik, Liberal Democrat MP, who was refused a claim for a television - “If I think something is good enough value for me to spend my own money on... I think it would be reasonable for me to claim it. The technology was very expensive in 2005. Obviously I thought it was worth it."

Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrat leader, who claimed for gardening - “The garden came with the house. It was in a totally derelict state and had not been touched in 30 years... it was a real eyesore for the neighbours. It is quite right, since I am not there during the week, it seems to me, that I use the allowance available to me, to make sure that it is in good basic maintained order, which it is now.”

Angus Robertson, SNP leader in Westminster, who claimed for a home cinema - "All claims relate to my parliamentary work on behalf of my constituents.”

Lady Sylvia Hermon, Ulster Unionist MP who volunteered to repay a rent overpayment - “I'm ...very angry that the Fees Office did not draw my attention to my mistakes at the time, especially as I had on various occasions specifically written on claim forms that I wanted them to be checked. The pressure on me was enormous at that time, pre-devolution, when every piece of Northern Ireland legislation had to go through the House of Commons and I was the only Ulster Unionist Voice."

Elliot Morley, former agriculture minister, who claimed for a mortgage that did not exist - "I do not believe any offence has been committed. I have reported this to the finance department and chief whip.”

Andrew MacKay, who resigned as a Commons aide to David Cameron, the Tory leader after claiming his MP wife’s “second home” was his “main home” - "This was all transparent, it was all approved and frankly until it was drawn to my attention it did not occur to me that it didn't pass the reasonableness test. Looking back now, it does look strange, I have clearly made an error of judgment for which I profusely apologise and I've done what I think is the right thing."

Shahid Malik, shortly before stepping down as Justice Minister -"I think this is a bit of a non-story to be honest. I have absolutely nothing to apologise for. I have done nothing wrong. I have not been at the periphery of the rules. I haven't abused the rules, I have been absolutely at the core of the rules."

Ummmmm, let's have a vote, which is the MOST cringeworthy?

The Penguin


Anonymous said...

for me, Anthony Steen - by a clear mile just because of what he said and not what he did.

Old Bag said...

agree with CB on this one..what a uber grasping, troughing, hooning cunt!..absolute arrogance of the highest level..i would not be jealous of him and his house paid for by ill gotten gains...cunt.

Anonymous said...

they're all cringeworthy.

captainff said...

Lets have a vote? As in a general election?

If only we could .. .. .. ..

Mummy x said...

I still think the worst is Kirkbride.

'Me and my partner are so very, very rich, but I still needed to steal from the tax-payer because, well, I could. With hind sight, after getting caught, I have done what any decent parent would do, in that I blamed my theft on having a child. I stole from the tax-payer to enable my child to be bought up in the style to which he should be accustomed, you know, as a child of parents who are fucking loaded. Any working parent with a properly well wongad partner would do the same, expecially if that parent is a poor, hard working woman, trying to combine patronising the proles whilst bringing up every one in my expanded family. At the end of the day, it was all with in the rules, it was a mistake, the fees office let me down and I was only thinking of the cheeeeldren. Well not all of them, but most of them, well one of them, you know, the one my brother looks after, because I am to busy posing for photos and fingering the till to actually bring him up my self.

Blind Pugh said...

They're a shower of shite. Shameless cunts, every last one of them. We should shove a firelighter up each and every cunt's arsehole and set fire to the lot of them. Greedy grasping hungry fuckwads. Kill them!! Kill them all!!