Sunday, 15 May 2011

Does mother justice turn a blind eye?

If the Law has any creditability, justice must seen be to be even handed.

These MP's expenses confuse me, admittedly I have not read extensively on the matter, but I judge these matters like this; if a benefit claimant on a council estate claimed deliberately to much benefit by making less than true statements, the government agency would rightly prosecute for defrauding the tax payer, the government even advertises to this end.

This week the Yeovil MP David Laws was "guilty of a series of serious breaches of the rules, over a considerable time".

He wrongly claimed expenses to pay rent to his partner and for building work and telephone bills, the report said.

The report also said Mr Laws had been wrong to designate his constituency home as his "main home" because he was spending more time living in London at Mr Lundie's property.

This arrangement allowed him to claim thousands of pounds in allowances against Mr Lundie's property.

He was also found guilty of wrongly claiming some £2,000 for building work and £2,248 for telephone bills. The rent claimed on Mr Lundie's property was also found to be £200 to £300 higher a month than the market rate.

The Standards Commisioner said "I have no evidence that Mr Laws made his claims with the intention of benefiting himself or his partner in conscious breach of the rules. But the sums of money involved were substantial... Some of them continued over a number of years."

He went on "It was inappropriate for him to be judge and jury in his own cause," he added. Mr Laws paid back £56,592 - more than was eventually required of him by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner - and referred himself for investigation.

In my opinion the best course of action by the Standards Commissioner would have been to pass the file onto the Police and Crown Prosecution Service, a number of Labour MPs have faced trial, is a seven days suspension from parliament punishment?

Without refering to the Police or CPS, the question of approriate punishment could be asked.

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