» Tuesday, October 13, 2009

MP’s expenses

Asked if there was a possible date for the Kelly Review, the PMS said he did not have any information on possible dates at this moment.

Asked what the Prime Minister’s view was on the prospect of a legal challenge to the Legg Review, the PMS replied that the Prime Minister was very focused on getting this process completed and he was encouraging all MPs to respond to letters they may have received from Sir Thomas Legg. The Prime Minister believed that we were turning our backs on a discredited old system and were looking forward to the new system, which would be a combination of the measures proposed by Sir Christopher Kelly and the new independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.

Asked if a Labour MP refused to pay what Sir Thomas Legg was asking, would the Prime Minister insist on that MP being barred from the next election, the PMS said we were at the start of a process. The letters had come out and MPs had three weeks to respond, either to a request for further information or an invitation to pay back money. At this stage it would be premature to look at what individual parties might do. What the Prime Minister had made very clear was that he wanted to encourage MPs of all parties to respond to whatever Sir Thomas Legg had communicated to them.

Put that it would encourage Labour MPs if the Prime Minister was to say that they could not stand again, the PMS said that the Prime Minister had certainly encouraged his ministerial colleagues in a letter yesterday to follow his lead.

Put that MPs were upset because they were not being told that there was a process to go through, but rather to pay up or shut up, the PMS said that this was not a perfect process being undertaken. However, this was being done on a cross-party basis and all parties individually would need to decide how they dealt with MPs.

original source.

Briefing took place at 16:45 | Search for related news

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