I called in at Kevin Barron’s office in Dinnington yesterday, just to see the wonder of the £7,000 worth of furniture. Sadly all that greeted me in the waiting room were a few sad, worn, but perfectly serviceable chairs, and an old coffee table. I wasn’t allowed in to the office, but the member of staff I spoke with assured me that the furniture there is certainly not worth £7,000.
So one assumes the £7,000 worth of furniture Kevin Barron claimed for in March 2006 must be in his Westminster office, tiny as it must be. I asked for confirmation, and apparently someone is going to get back to me.
Whilst I was in the waiting room I noticed lots of pictures taken by Kevin dotted around. Very nice they were too, but none were taken in the Rother Valley – I’m not sure any were even taken in the UK. This remined me of Kevin’s claims for about £1,5oo of camera equipment. Sadly the staff weren’t able to confirm that either camera was in the office, although they did get to use them sometimes. They couldn’t though tell me how they benefitted the constituents of the Rother Valley. It was exaplained to me that they have to be careful as they can’t use the communications allowance to send out anything that is party political, which is why they don’t send out many leaflets. In light of this I asked why they needed an £8,438 printer. Although they could confirm the printer was in the building I wasn’t allowed to see it – heaven forfend that the public should be able to see something they bought – the staff couldn’t really say either way whether they needed such a behemoth or not, or whether it was used to it’s full potential.
Unsurprisingly they could shed no light on Kevin’s petty cash habit either. The person I was speaking too did try and call Kevin Barron for me to speak to, and I was surprised to note that he knew my surname without me telling him. Either he is very switched on, or there are not many people on Kevin’s ‘do not reply’ list. Unfortunately Kevin was busy with the Health Select Committee. It was suggested I attend a surgery to speak to Kevin and ask my questions about, what on the face of it, are claims that need more clarification. I don’t know if I will be able to take up this offer this week, but I made it quite clear that I felt it Kevin’s duty to go to the press and explain these issues himself, proactively, rather than waiting for his constituents to come and speak to him one at a time.
We will wait and see what happens.