No expenses spared
Will the MP expenses crisis ever end?
Will the MP expenses crisis ever end? It doesn't feel like it, as the Daily Telegraph continues to splash the latest revelations on its front page on a daily basis, with the latest claims centring on members of the Cabinet using taxpayers money to receive tax advice, from the husband of a fellow MP. The irony is quite staggering.
So what has been your favourite spurious expenses claim? Was it the duck island? How about the rug imported from New York? Perhaps the removal of wisteria from a chimney?
My favourite - and I'm sure I'm not alone - has been the cleaning of a moat, a claim filed by the Conservative MP Douglas Hogg. He has at least given back the £2,000 it apparently costs to clean the moat (though I always thought the point of a moat was that it was mucky and a bit grim) and will stand down at the next election.
However, his exploits have even amused our friends over the pond. Here's the brilliant chat show host Jon Stewart's take on the expenses scandal, and Hogg's claim in particular.
I also particularly enjoyed the outburst from Tory MP Anthony Steen about the way he had been "pilloried" for employing forestry experts to inspect the trees at his Devon home. Apparently we are all simply jealous of his property which supposedly resembles Balmoral. Have a listen to the interview in which he made his frankly ridiculous comments.
Of course, the exploits of members of the other parties are by no means any better. Margaret Moran, the Labour MP for Luton South is the biggest villain for me.
Not only did she have the bare-faced cheek to claim more than £22,000 for treating dead rot in her husband's Southampton property, he exploits have now resulted in the very real possibility of Esther Rantzen running for Parliament.
David Van Day, formerly of 80s cheesefest Dollar, is the latest celebrity - and I use the term in its loosest sense - to state he may run for Parliament.
My own local MP has thus far avoided the Telegraph treatment. So who do you think have been the biggest crooks in all this? How has your own local MP come out of the ruckus? And what is the best way to resolve the crisis? Let me know via the comment box below!