Expenses by South Yorkshire MPs – April to October 2010
Angela Smith, Lab, Penistone and Stocksbridge £22,272.08
Paul Blomfield, Lab, Sheffield Central £19,310.96
David Blunkett, Lab, Sheffield, Brightside & Hillsborough £18,624.71
Meg Munn, Lab, Sheffield Heeley £15,438.70
Nick Clegg, Lib Dem, Sheffield Hallam £14,451.33
Michael Dugher, Lab, Barnsley East £14,355.51
John Healey, Lab, Wentworth and Dearne £13,345.34
Clive Betts, Lab, Sheffield South East £10,574
Eric Illsley*, Ind, Barnsley Central £9,197.74
Caroline Flint, Lab, Don Valley £8,067.55
Ed Miliband, Lab, Doncaster North £7,601.87
Rosie Winterton, Lab, Doncaster Central £7,366.64
Denis MacShane**, Ind, Rotherham £4,163.36
Kevin Barron, Lab, Rother Valley £3,402.01
This list, compiled with the help of the new site upon which IPSA now publishes details of all claims and payments made in the specified time frame. Look for yourself here: IPSA Home Page, IPSA Publications Page, IPSA Search Here for your MP.
Observations: This is the first time this information has been published in this way and everyone is at various stages in operating the system so comparisons cannot be direct with the old data and the rules have changed since Parliament previously published this data.
It is interesting to note, that two of the new systems greatest critics, are at the very bottom of this list. They had, under the ‘old’ system, habitually claimed their whole entitlements to within a few coppers of the maximums allowable! Kevin Barron has answered his critics, justifying himself by saying; “I submitted bills that took me up to the limit for what I could get”. A quite outrageous thing for any MP to say, but as the Chairman of the Commons Standards and Privileges Committee and a Privy Councillor, entirely unacceptable! But nevertheless, it could be enormously illuminating at the same time?
It seems also from this data that the system is working, because most MPs have succeeded in being reimbursed for their prior expenditure with little difficulty or Angela Smith would not have obtained the £22,272.08 she had spent!
* Eric Illsley, the MP for Barnsley Central, has already admitted his guilt at Southwark Crown Court and is awaiting sentence for his false claims. He still is the MP for Barnsley Central as he outrageously has not yet resigned his seat and is still drawing his MPs salary and expenses, milking it to the end! It would appear!
** Denis MacShane, Rotherham’s MP, now sitting as an Independent, was suspended from the Labour Party last October, when it was revealed that he had been referred to the Met Police for investigation for as yet undisclosed irregularities in his expenses claims. News of progress of this little bit of ‘unfinished business’ is awaited shortly from the Metropolitan Police or Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
The trial of Jim Devine this week has focussed attention on to some of the methods employed by MPs to obtain extra monies beyond their expenditure and the phrase ‘friendly printer’ may become an established part of the political lexicon from now on! We shall see? At least we can now content ourselves that the police understand how they were doing it and are not put off by the obfuscations and flak throwing tactics of MPS. There must now be other MPs with concerns that the past will catch up with them? The same people are reportedly engaged in lobbying for the position that a line must be drawn under the past! The people still want the truth, all of it!
Yorkshire & Humberside Labour Party made serious errors of judgement in approving Eric Illsley and Denis MacShane before last May’s General Election, others may have slipped through! We should be told? Complete transparency is now required of our MPs!
Kevin Barron and Denis MacShane unlike John Healey, have been failing the transparency test! If they want our trust they must earn it! To start with, they should publish their expenditure on their websites and we will stop demanding this minimal amount of accountability from them, it was our money after all! Kevin and Denis could always ask John for help with this, I am sure he would assist if asked!