From the sublime to the ridiculous

THE Weston Mercury has done us all a great service with its strong and in depth coverage of John Penrose s expenses claims last week. Whatever your views might be, it is surely right that as taxpayers and voters, we can all see for ourselves what has gon

THE Weston Mercury has done us all a great service with its strong and in depth coverage of John Penrose's expenses claims last week.

Whatever your views might be, it is surely right that as taxpayers and voters, we can all see for ourselves what has gone on and who has claimed for what.

The expenses saga has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous, from moats and duck houses to phantom mortgage claims and needless bills for the taxpayer.

For me, they have all had one thing in common. They have shown the gulf between the political class and ordinary people. MPs have shown themselves to be out of touch with normal life and too arrogant to even recognise their mistakes.


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What other explanation can there be for an MP who thinks spending �52,000 of taxpayer's money to move four minutes down the road is justifiable?

MPs have had plenty of chances to sort this mess out. They could have cut their perks and joined the rest of us in the real world. But they didn't.

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At the very least, MPs must now apologise for their actions and, where they have claimed our money unnecessarily and frivolously, they should pay it back. I have written today to Mr Penrose to suggest that, at the very least, he should promise to pay back to the taxpayer any profit he makes from his taxpayer-funded London property purchase.

But what we really need is a general election so that we can evict those who do not deserve our trust and send a new generation of ordinary people to Westminster to stand up for the people, not a greedy and out of touch political class.

MIKE BELL

Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Weston

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