“I demand the very highest standards from Labour Members of Parliament. They came into politics to serve the public not themselves. But where there has been wrongdoing on expenses we owe it to the British people to take action.
“The current expenses regime must be reformed, and individual MPs must account for their expenses. Already, we have toughened the rules to ensure MPs must submit receipts to account for all their claims and any MPs with second jobs must declare them properly. I have asked for systematic independent scrutiny of every single expenses claim made in the last four years – with the power to decide what should be paid back.
“But I am committed to a complete clean up of the system so the work that MPs do to improve the lives of their constituents is not overshadowed by those who have broken the rules. Wherever immediate disciplinary action is required we will take it – including barring sitting MPs from re-standing as Labour candidates if necessary.”
It’ll be interesting to see what the “systematic independent scrutiny of every single expenses claim made in the last four years” makes of Kevin Barron’s expenses. I’m still waiting for a response from his office with regard to how his claims for expensive furniture, a very expensive printer, two expensive cameras, the interest on a mortgage that seems to have grown, a website that no-one can access and an accountant to do his personal tax return fit with Gordon Brown’s statement that “they [Labour MPs] came into politics to serve the public not themselves.” I can’t see any way in which any of those claims have benefited the people of the Rother Valley, but as I say, Kevin Barron’s office told me they were definitely going to get back to me to explain, so I’m sure it’ll be clear soon.