Yvette Cooper, shadow Home Secretary and her husband Ed Balls, shadow Chancellor, both Yorkshire MPs, are in further difficulty with their expenses claims. It has emerged that Andrew Bridgen, a Tory MP for North West Leicestershire, has written to John Lyon CB, the standards commissioner (AKA the sleaze buster, by some) complaining about the high number of claims made by the pair for family travel.
The ‘Green Book’ allows an MP to be reimbursed for 30 journeys per child, per year.
The couple claimed for 375 journeys taken by their three children between 2007 and 2010 between London and Yorkshire.
This adds further to the recent embarrassment for the Yorkshire & Humberside Regional Labour Party after Eric Illsley, Elliot Morley and Denis MacShane! One by-election victory in Barnsley does not repair the damage to their reputation.
They still have to face up to the fact that the expenses scandal is not going away any time soon and won’t, until the past is properly dealt with and the expenses fraudsters brought to book!
Why are Cooper and Balls of interest to us? Yvette Cooper, threw her hat in the ring in 1996, for selection as Wentworth’s replacement Member of Parliament for Peter Hardy. John Healey won comfortably, Yvette polled just 14 Votes from a then membership of 900 plus. Oh dear! I did warn her!
Her exceedingly poor performance in terms of votes was affected by an indiscretion at a Brampton Parish Hall Christmas do, a fortnight before the final selection meeting. Yvette’s husband to be, Ed Balls, put his foot in it when he was overheard to say, “This was his first visit to Yorkshire and he hoped it would be his last!” Not the best way to endear yourself to a bunch of Yorkshire folk wanting to find a suitable candidate to be their next MP!