UK PM Brown may be forced to pay back expenses: Report

Last Updated: Sunday, October 11, 2009 - 15:32

London: British Prime Minister Gordon
Brown may be among politicians forced to pay back some of his
expenses as a result of an official inquiry even as the issue
of allowances claimed by Parliamentarians in recent years
continued to hog the headlines.

The Mail on Sunday said it was "highly likely" Brown
would be asked to justify his expenditure.
Brown is already believed to have repaid 150 pounds
after mistakenly claiming twice for the same plumbing work
within six months.

In May it also emerged he had paid his brother Andrew
6,577 pounds for arranging cleaning services for his
Westminster flat.

According to The Sunday Times, Downing street sources
fear Gordon Brown could be asked about his decision to share a
cleaner with his brother. There is no suggestion of financial
impropriety but the sources fear Brown could face questions
about why he did not pay the cleaner directly.

The Times devoted considerable space to the expenses
claimed by NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul, described by the
newspaper as "a friend of the Prime Minister."

It said that Lord Paul had claimed 38,000 pounds as
allowance for living in a small flat outside London where he
had never slept.

The NRI industrialist, however, maintained that he was
entitled to claim the expenses as per the rule which he
follows.

"I am proud to be a friend of Gordon Brown whose
contribution to Britain and the world in these times of
financial crisis is unparallelled," Lord Paul said.

The inquiry by former senior civil servant Sir Thomas
Legg is understood to have been concentrating on whether
expenses were used to improve properties rather than maintain
them as allowed under rules.

Meanwhile, up to 50 MPs fear they will be forced to
resign from the Commons as a result of the investigation, the
Mail report claimed.
Everyone of Britain 646 MPs will be sent a letter
tomorrow from Sir Thomas - who was appointed to audit all
claims made over the past five years - which will either
exonerate them, demand repayment or ask them to provide
further evidence to clear their names.

The inquiry, which was set up at the height of the
scandal, has led to panic among MPs whose suspicious claims
escaped scrutiny during the storm.

The Sunday Telegraph reported that at least 325 MPs
will be asked this week to repay money or provide further
details of their parliamentary allowances by Sir Thomas.

Sir Thomas, a former senior civil servant, and his
team of accountants are believed to have concentrated on big
mortgage claims and extravagant bills for household items.
The inquiry is expected to cost one million pounds.

Bureau Report



First Published: Sunday, October 11, 2009 - 15:32

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