Sunday, 17 May 2009

Martyn Jones voted to hide expenses claims

In May 2007, 98 MPs voted to exempt themselves from the Freedom of Information Act, with the apparent aim of stopping the public from finding out the details of their Parliamentary expense claims.

The measure was ultimately defeated, and after a long legal battle, the courts last year ordered the publication of the expense claims made by MPs. The government, however, continued to drag its feet until the information was finally leaked to the Telegraph newspaper, amid much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the Parliamentary authorities.

Amid the uproar that the last week of revelations has caused among the wider public, attention has understandably focussed on the worst excesses of the worst offenders – the claims for non-existent mortgages, exorbitant gardening bills, and the famous “moat-cleaning” expense.

But alongside this, it now seems worth taking a closer look at the people who helped create the environment in which this behaviour was able to flourish – and who fought so hard to stop the truth from being exposed.

Interestingly, several of the MPs – such as Elliot Morley – who have now been identified as serial abusers of the Parliamentary expenses system were also among the 98 MPs who, in May 2007, voted to exempt themselves from the Freedom of Information Act. But there are also many others who, to date, seem to have largely escaped public scrutiny.

78 of those who supported the move are Labour MPs and the remainder are Tories. Among them are Martyn Jones.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

.............who is standing down at the next election.

Lehendakari said...

Twenty two years of the good life, Martyn can see the writing on the wall, its going to be a less plumb job from now on; and you never know what he's been spending his £23,000 second home allowance on do we?

Lerroux said...

From the BBC -
MPs who backed a bill that would have blocked public release of parliamentary expense claims are among the latest accused of benefiting from the system.

Tory MP David Maclean, who led the secrecy bid, rejected Sunday Telegraph claims he used public money to renovate a house and avoid capital gains tax.

Quote by Maclean, "I was forced to obey a rule which I thought illogical."
That must be the most pathetic excuse I've heard in a long time.

For more go here http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8054020.stm

richardwilsonauthor said...

Hi there - thanks for the link. Just wanted to let you know that the link is coming through to the DGFA website, but it isn't finding the right page - I think that there's a rogue HTML "br" that's found its way into the hyperlink. Anyhow - good luck nailing Martyn Jones and/or his replacement!

Richard

Plaid Whitegate said...

Cheers, Richard - link now corrected.

It'll be interesting to see who Martyn's replacement is.

Lehendakari said...

Iain Dale reckons the story just got a lot worse with the Telegraph claiming that the Fees Office and senior civil servants were complicit in this scandal and they allowed dodgy claims to be paid.

For more go to http://iaindale.blogspot.com/2009/05/this-scandal-just-got-whole-lot-worse.html