Thursday, May 28, 2009

Calls for Janet Anderson MP to vountarily publish all her expenses

Janet Anderson has been challenged to publish her expenses in full, ahead of the July deadline. The call, by her Conservative opponent, Jake Berry, follows repeated attempts to obtain details of the Labour MPs expense claims since July 2008.

In response to a further request from Jake Berry, Ms Anderson failed to justify why she had voted against the reform of MPs expenses and a Freedom Of Information Act request he submitted, asking for the full details of Ms Anderson's second home expense claims, was rejected.

As the Daily Mail has recently revealed Ms Anderson's sky-high travel expenses – enough to allow her to drive around the globe almost twice in a year – Mr Berry said such claims must be published in detail.

Since 2001, Janet Anderson has claimed almost £139,000 to maintain her end terraced house in Darwen which she designated as her second home.

Mr Berry said: "As far as I am concerned my main home will always be here in Rossendale and Darwen. I will never change the designation of my second home purely in an attempt to maximise the amount of expenses I could claim as it appears some MPs have done."

“The voters of Rossendale and Darwen deserve to have confidence in the person who represents them", he added. "I have always believed in openness and transparency regarding MPs expenses. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

"I call on Ms Anderson to voluntarily publish all of her expenses. I have been seeking this information for over a year and I cannot make sense of the mileage or second home allowance claimed," Mr Berry said.

He said that a chain of events has led him to speak out about why he thinks the people of Rossendale and Darwen deserve better, and as a taxpayer first and foremost, he was "disgusted" by the treatment of residents.

For the third year running she has racked up the biggest mileage claim in Parliament with 41,984 miles to her name at a cost of almost £12,000.

"I will always seek to be transparent and honest with my travel expenses. I believe change is required to clean up politics," Mr Berry stated.

"Only an immediate General Election can clear out the old system and bring in a new transparent and open system of MPs' expenses."


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