» Thursday, October 15, 2009


Asked if the Prime Minister sympathised with frustration showed by some of his backbenchers regarding expense offenders who had not been chased down, the PMS said that the Prime Minister felt that this was the back end of a discredited system and he was entirely supportive of the approach that Sir Thomas Legg was taking. The most important thing was to get through this process as quickly as possible in order to move forward into a new system, which would comprise of recommendations from the Kelly review and the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA).

Asked for the Prime Minister s thoughts regarding backdated caps on MPs expenses introduced by Sir Thomas Legg, the PMS said that although it was not a perfect system it was important to move from the old discredited system, and the Prime Minister encouraged people to respond to the letters sent to them individually by Sir Thomas Legg and raise any queries they had with him. The whole basis of a review into past use of the Additional Claims Allowance had been agreed on a cross-party basis with the Speaker, party members and members of the Members Estimate Committee.

Asked which part of the system was not perfect, the PMS said that the whole old system was discredited and that the Kelly review and IPSA would lead to a better system.

Asked how the Prime Minister felt about others who had not paid back money as quickly as he had, the PMS said that the Prime Minister had accepted that he should pay back what Sir Thomas Legg asked of him and he had written to Ministerial colleagues and encouraged others to do as he had done.

Put that there was a case for looking at how the Committee on Standards and Privileges worked, the PMS said that there were lots of different ways of dealing with these issues; the Prime Minister felt that the combination of the work done by the Members Estimate Committee and Sir Thomas Legg, together with the Kelly report and the work of IPSA meant that we had enough informed bodies looking at the future structure.

original source.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

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