Cameron blasts silent' MPs in expenses row
PUBLISHED: 18:06 20 May 2009 | UPDATED: 10:05 12 August 2010
2009 Marco Secchi
CONSERVATIVE Leader David Cameron has called for his MPs to hold public meetings to explain their expenses - but so far Bromley borough MPs have failed to comply with his request. Speaking on BBC Radio 5 live on Tuesday, Mr Cameron said every MP has GOT
CONSERVATIVE Leader David Cameron has called for his MPs to hold public meetings to explain their expenses - but so far Bromley borough MPs have failed to comply with his request.
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 live on Tuesday, Mr Cameron said every MP has GOT to meet with their constituents to help restore faith in the political system.
But at the time of going to press, neither Bob Neill, John Horam or Jacqui Lait had confirmed to the Times whether they would be obeying the summons issued by their leader.
Mr Cameron said: "I recognise people won't trust MPs until there is atonement. Every MP has got to go back to their constituency, has got to hold a public meeting and stand up and explain why they did what they did.
"Now, I am happy to do that in my own case and I will go through my expenses claims and explain why I claimed what I claimed and explain that there is one particular bill I paid back money for because, although it was within the rules, it was a maintenance bill not a decorating bill.
"I want to do something to recognise the public anger that people feel."
Bromley and Chislehurst MP Mr Neill is currently having all of his expenses receipts for the past four financial years examined by Mr Cameron's Scrutiny Panel. The internal audit will be complete next week and if any claims "look excessive" he will be told to repay them.
Mr Neill said: "I have submitted all my claim forms to the independent scrutiny panel that has been set up by David Cameron and I am happy to publish all my claims, in full, once this process is complete."
Mr Cameron has also banned all his members from claiming for furniture, other household goods and food, as well as putting an end to the practice of 'flipping' their main and second homes.
Claims made by the Conservative shadow cabinet will also now be published directly online.
The move to examine all Conservative front-benchers' claims is part of the Tory leader's backlash to one of the most tumultuous weeks in modern political history, which has seen the speaker Michael Martin resign and scores of MPs apologise for abusing the system.
Times reporter Jason Goodyer was in the House of Commons on Tuesday to witness the historical scenes.
Despite repeatedly requesting meetings with Beckenham MP Mrs Lait, Orpington MP Mr Horam and Mr Neill, none of them accepted the Times' invitation for them to give a full and frank confession.
The Metropolitan Police said on Tuesday that they would not be investigating the leak to The Daily Telegraph newspaper which has led to dozens of MPs coming under fire for claims such as mock Tudor beams and repairs to moats, tennis courts and hanging baskets.