Dear David Clelland MP – a few questions on behalf of the folk in Lobley Hill

Dear David Clelland,

I thought I would just drop you a note to enquire whether you are planning at any stage to give your side of the story when it comes to your expenses for your duties as my local MP?  As an aside, it seems quite quaint to send a real letter in this modern era but you have no email address on your website and even the excellent website doesn’t have one for you. Odd in this modern era of social networking and instant communication that you don’t want people to get in touch by the easiest methods.

As you’re no doubt well aware the Telepgraph has made some mischief by revealing your expenses in relation to your second home (David Clelland: Home buy-out costs taxpayer thousands on MP’s expenses). I would be interested to hear your side of the story as the evidence as presented seems a little a damning. A number of MPs have decided to publish their expenses themselves including the much respected Labour MP Frank Field (see the Guardian – Growing number of MPs putting their expenses online) but your name seems to be missing from the list of those volunteering the information (when I check on Tuesday 19th May).

Of course your voting record on Transparency of Parliament is not great – you were either absent or voted against every positive amendment to the Freedom of Information Act and as recently as April 30th 2009 you were voting against having to provide receipts for all your reimbersed expenditure as an MP. A little unfair given the lengths small businesses have to go to in this country to meet HMRC regulations. As a retailer I have to keep VAT records on every transaction – no matter how small – for seven years.

Anyway, the matter seems to be that you, at the tax-payers expense, bought out your partner from your London flat. Perhaps you were going your separate ways? It then is turns out that you went on to marry your partner a year later. Unless you have a pre-nuptial agreement of some description this surely means that your partner now effectively owns 50% of the flat again. But we the taxpayers in this country are now footing the whole bill. Now it may be that all of that is mischief from the Telegraph – I’d love to hear your side of the story so do feel free to reply and let me know.

Thanks for taking the time to read this letter and I look forward to hearing from you shortly.

Yours sincerely

Andy Redfern

PS In effort to be transparent I have posted a copy of this letter on my blogs.

4 comments to Dear David Clelland MP – a few questions on behalf of the folk in Lobley Hill

  • Great post! Just wanted to let you know you have a new subscriber- me!

  • Anon

    I wouldn’t believe everything you read in the Telegraph or the tabloids. yes some MP’s have done serious fiddles, but I don’t believe Mr Clelland has, my understanding of the London flat situation is, his now wife put a large amount of inherritence into the London flat as a deposit, she then decided she wanted to invest elsewhere and quite rightly wanted her money back, during the time her money was tied up in the property the property market was booming and increased the price of the flat, thereofore she was entitled to her share plus the profit it had made. Mr Clelland in my eyes has done nothing wrong. In my opinion he works very hard for his constituents and we all should stand by him and ignore the rags that are trying to rubbish his good name. People need to realise that Mr Clelland is human and will be affected by these ridiculous allergations. Mr Clelland has my full support now and always!

  • James

    I have been trawling through the published expense claims on the Parliament Website with a particular interest in the Council Tax claims. Under Council Tax rules only one main home is allowed.A second property must be given a discount of between 50% and 10% by the relavent authority although most give the minimum 10%.
    You would therefore assume that as 571 MPs claim an Additional Cost Allowance ACA, many for a property rather than hotel bills, that they would be entitled to a ‘second home’ CT discount of 10%. Indeed many MPs including David Cameron,Brian Jenkins and Philip Davies do, and it is shown on their bills. However, there are quite a number (in the 2007/08 year-latest available expenses) who claim a 25% single occupant discount (which is also shown on their bills) and David Clelland is one of them. As I stated, for Council Tax purposes you can only have one ‘main’ home, so these MPs have satisfied the relevant Councils that the home, that the taxpayer pays all the bills for, is their main home as they spend the most time there and thus qualify for the single occupancy discount of 25%. Why bother going to all the trouble of ensuring this is your ‘main’ home when, regardless of how much the Council Tax bill is, the taxpayer always foots the bill? I can only logically deduce that they are using the system as Ken Clarke stated in a Telegraph interview. With the MP’s second home now his ‘main’ home, his partner/spouse is then, for council tax purposes, the only qualifying adult in the family home (usually in the constituency) and therefore also qualifies for the 25% single occupancy discount.So the MP and their spouse/partner qualifies for high discounts on both properties. Something which you or I would not be able to do. Perhaps you could ask David Clelland if this is the reason he goes to the trouble of making sure his ‘second’home is his ‘main’ home.

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