Minister claimed £1600 for clean windows

FURIOUS campaigners have said it is diabolical that the East of England Minister claimed more than £1,600 in expenses for window cleaners at her London home.

FURIOUS campaigners have said it is diabolical that the East of England Minister claimed more than £1,600 in expenses for window cleaners at her London home.

Fourteen prominent MPs, including Prime Minister Gordon Brown, were forced to reveal their claims after conceding defeat in their three-year fight to keep the paperwork private.

The victory came at a cost of £100,000 to the public purse and was hailed as a landmark ruling by freedom of information campaigners.

Among the detail was the fact that Barbara Follett, the East of England Minister who is married to millionaire novelist Ken Follett, claimed more than £1,600 for window cleaning at her London home.

Cleaners visited on 18 occasions at £94-a-time during 2003 to 2004 and campaigners lobbying for better government and lower taxes are furious.

Mrs Follett was unavailable for comment, but Reg Hartles, chairman of the Protest Against Council Tax Suffolk, said last night: “I think to receive £1,600 for window cleaning is diabolical.

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“That sort of thing really makes my blood boil. Ordinary people are struggling and they should be setting an example.

“Anything like this is out of our pockets in tax and it is just not on. I cannot understand the way they think at times.”

Matthew Elliott, chief executive of The Taxpayers' Alliance, said: “It is reasonable for taxpayers to give MPs a roof over their head in London, but to also pay cleaning staff seems beyond the pale.

“Families have seen their food and fuel bills rise, and tax bills are up. People are starting to feel the pinch. The entire system of MPs expenses need to be completely reformed.”

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