Monday 18 May 2009

MPs expense scandal bookshelves

Tam Dalyell, the former Father of the House of Commons, attempted to claim £18,000 for bookcases two months before he retired as an MP. Mr Dalyell wanted to buy a set of 12 designer shelving units for the House of the Binns, the 200-acre estate in Scotland where his family have lived for almost 400 years. He had accumulated a considerable library working as Labour MP for Linlithgow since 1962, and was able to make the claim because he designated one of the estate’s rooms his constituency office.While officials in the fees office told him that the claim was excessive, they agreed to pay £7,800 for book cases from John Lewis. An official told Mr Dalyell that the cases they had selected were from “the middle to upper echelon of the range”.
Daily Telegraph and John Lewis

Richard Younger-Ross, one of his party’s spokesmen on culture, also claimed on his parliamentary expenses for a top-of-the-range stereo system that cost more than £1,100, and a bookcase called the “Don Juan”.His purchases were approved without comment by the Commons authorities even though they are in clear breach of guidelines that state members must not use public funds for “extravagant or luxurious” goods.
Daily Telegraph and Lombok

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