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Critics blast edited MPs’ exes claims

PUBLISHED: 18:20 24 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:40 12 August 2010

THE official publication of MPs expenses was labelled a whitewash after many damaging claims were blacked out. Some of the most notorious claims such as the duck island, moat cleaning and Jacqui Smith s husband s porn purchases were nowhere to be seen af

THE official publication of MPs expenses was labelled a whitewash after many damaging claims were blacked out.

Some of the most notorious claims such as the duck island, moat cleaning and Jacqui Smith's husband's porn purchases were nowhere to be seen after Parliament finally published more than a million PDF documents of MPs' receipts on its website.

The disclosure followed a lengthy court battle and came more than a year after the High Court stipulated that MPs should be subject to Freedom of Information laws as they were spending public money.

Beckenham MP Jacqui Lait claimed £526,445 over the last four years but some of her expenses were edited. Asked if she would reveal her receipts in full to the Times, she said: "I won't do that because there are sensitive details on there. Some of the stuff has been blacked out unnecessarily."

Bromley and Chislehurst MP Bob Neill's expenses for two years amounted to over £254,949 but residents have been left bemused by blanked out invoices.

In May and June 2007, Mr Neill claimed £2484 for a purchase from print and design company the Windrush Group in May and June 2007 but virtually all the invoice has been covered up apart from the amount owed. He was allowed to claim this under his communications allowance.

Meanwhile John Horam, MP for Orpington, claimed £418,215, over a four-year period- the majority of which went on mortgage repayments, staffing and stationery costs.

(But Mr Horam did claim for his subscription to the Bromley Times which is one claim we won't object to - Editor)


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