» Thursday, December 10, 2009

MPs’ Expenses

Asked if the Prime Minister had full confidence in Quentin Davies, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) said yes. In terms of expenses the Prime Minister had made his feelings clear in his interview earlier today; we needed to move away from the old system of the past. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) was now in place and Harriet Harman had today set out, with Jack Straw, legislation that would set in motion recommendations made by Sir Christopher Kelly.

Asked if the Prime Minister thought that taxpayers’ money should go towards repairing a bell tower, the PMS said that the important thing was that Sir Thomas Legg had reviewed expenses and appropriate action had been taken. From the Prime Minister’s point of view the Government had played its part in dealing with the expenses issue; they had now been taken out of the hands of individual MPs and a process was in place to ensure that the old excesses of the past were never repeated.

Asked if the Prime Minister thought that Quentin Davies should repay the money for the bell tower, the PMS said that that was a matter for Quentin Davies.

Asked if the Prime Minister would encourage Ministers to look again at their claims, the PMS said that the Prime Minister encouraged all MPs to repay any expenses that were excessive and would continue to do so.

Asked which bill the legislation announced today would be part of, the PMS said that it was the Constitutional Renewal and Governance Bill.

Asked if that bill had been in The Queen’s Speech, the PMS said yes.

Asked why legislation was needed now when at the time of The Queen’s Speech we had said that legislation would not be needed, the PMS said that when the Kelly review was published the Government had said that if there were a need for legislation we would bring it forward. Since then we had had the Kelly review and some of his recommendations required legislation.

original source.

Briefing took place at 15:45 | Search for related news

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