5.11.2009

Labour plots to keep MPs’ allowances under wraps in the future

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6262083.ece
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A Labour plot to suppress the future release of MPs’ expenses has been uncovered by The Times.
As the frenzy over MPs’ claims continues into a fourth day, senior figures from all parties will meet this morning to discuss how to salvage Parliament’s battered reputation and it emerged that the tax authorities are expected to investigate whether MPs have breached the law. Plans to bring in a private-sector company to run the expenses department have raised fears, however, that the move is being used as a smokescreen to suppress future embarrassing revelations.
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Senior Labour figures say that the future privatisation of the Fees Office to process claims would exempt receipts from publication under Freedom of Information rules. This was branded unbelievable and unacceptable by Tony Wright, chairman of the Public Administration Committee.
A former Commons Deputy Speaker took the unusual step of urging Gordon Brown to hold an urgent general election to save the “foundations of democracy”[Which are what? Theft?]. Lord Naseby, formerly the Tory MP Michael Morris, told BBC radio: “I think frankly, if this runs and runs, then Parliament should be dissolved, I think they have to start again. The Great British public has lost their confidence and I think that it is extremely serious. And if it is that serious then there is only one way of dealing with it, that is to dissolve Parliament.”
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