MP Mole not worried by expenses probe

IPSWICH: MP Chris Mole today said he had nothing to fear following an official investigation into the Commons expenses scandal.

elliot.furniss@eveningstar.co.uk>

IPSWICH: MP Chris Mole today said he had nothing to fear following an official investigation into the Commons expenses scandal.

Former civil servant Sir Thomas Legg, who conducted the probe, is due to send out letters to every MP today, disclosing whether there are any problems with their claims.

More than half will reportedly be told they should either make repayments or provide further details.

Sir Thomas is believed to have been examining cases where MPs used parliamentary expenses to improve their second homes and make a profit, rather than just maintain them.

He is also said to have uncovered more examples where taxpayers' money has been used to pay off the capital element of mortgages, instead of just interest on the borrowing, as is allowed under the rules.

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Mr Mole, Labour MP for Ipswich, said he did not anticipate receiving any worrying correspondence from Sir Thomas and said it was right that people who had not acted “within the spirit of the allowances scheme” should be asked to make repayments.

He said: “That was the purpose of calling in Legg to undertake this piece of work, to reassure any doubters that the expenses have been looked at thoroughly and closely for their consistency.

“I would be surprised if I receive one (a request for a repayment or more information) and I have made my public expenses public even before I was told to.”

The letters will be sent out privately and Sir Thomas is not expected to deliver his final report until December.

Suffolk MPs Tim Yeo, John Gummer and Sir Michael Lord were unavailable for comment while David Ruffley, Conservative MP for Bury St Edmunds, said he had “no comment to make” on the matter.

Mr Ruffley came under scrutiny when it emerged he claimed �1,674 for a sofa and �2,175 for a 46-inch Sony widescreen HD television.

Should MPs pay their expenses back? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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