Daily Archives: February 4, 2010

Jim Pickard

I’m sure there’s an interesting story to be told today about lobbyists gaining access to the Commons by MPs hiring out rooms to entertain them. The authorities have released the full list of “banqueting office functions” booked from 2004 to 2009. (To be fair many of the guests are charities etc) 

Jim Pickard

Alex spotted that Sir John Butterfill paid back £17,478 despite being asked to pay only £2,364.

Who else has appeared to have gone overboard in an attempt to clear their name? This list is not comprehensive but will give you an idea….*

Phil Hope has paid back a stunning £42,674…..10 times the £4,365 demanded of him.

Keith Vaz has paid back £18,949, more than 10 times the £1,514 demanded of him.

Sally Keeble paid back £4,189, 10 times the £451 recommended.

Humfrey Malins repaid £9,954 8 times the demand of £1,329 

Jim Pickard

“Elliot Morley has no issues”

“David Chaytor has no issues” 

Jim Pickard

If you want proof of disagreement between Legg and Kennedy here it is. I won’t go into the details of Peter Lilley’s mortgage claims – too complex. But Kennedy has struck off the entire £41k claim, saying:

“I am at a loss to understand why the review should state that what you did was not permitted under the ACA.” 

When Legg first started seving MPs with big bills, one of the big complaints was over the “arbitrary” limit he put on cleaning expenses. One MP told the Guardian: “If you employ a cleaner for five to six hours a week, pay a decent wage and pay national insurance, there are consequences.”

Well, as this excellent graph in the Legg report shows, 93 per cent of MPs managed to keep their cleaning bills below £2,000. (Not sure what that says about the cleanliness of their homes or their terms and conditions.) It is a vindication of sorts for Legg’s limit. Note the sudden fall in cleaning expenses in 2008/9 once the system began to come under serious scrutiny. Britain’s cleaning industry seems to have taken a big hit. Not sure which MP claimed £5,400 in a year. 

Jim Pickard

An interesting piece of maths for you. Legg’s repayments come to £1.3m. But this has been reduced by £185,000 by the Sir Paul Kennedy review…..making £1.12m.

But the cost of hiring the former mandarin and his entourage has come to £1.16m. 

Jim Pickard

Legg is out in full: Here are some interesting points.

He ordered £1.3m to be paid back by a total of about 390 MPs – of which £800,000 has already been repaid.