MP's Allowances
16 May 2009
A number of constituents have emailed me about MP's allowances, and I have replied to them all individually. Some of these exchanges I have put on "Ask your MP" on my website.

I have however turned down the many bids from the national media and have done no broadcasting on the radio - apart from Andover Sound - since the Telegraph started publishing details of our expenses.

This is because one of my jobs in the House of Commons is Chairman of the Standards and Privileges Committee. Some of the cases that have been reported may end up before my committee, after being examined by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards. It is important that I don't prejudge any of these cases by commenting on them in advance. It would be rather like a judge commenting on a case before the trial.

My Committee has a wide range of powers, from expulsion, to suspension, to docking salary. The Committee does not deal with cases that are being investigated by the police.

I recognise the enormous damage done to the reputation of MP's and to the credibility of the House of Commons. I believe that it is going to take time to recover. It is up to each individual MP to explain to his or her constituents what he or she has done, in order to rebuild confidence at a local level. And it is up to Party leaders to take steps at a national level to do the same on a broader basis.

For my part, I hope I have always been open with my constituents about my expenditure, and prudent with taxpayers' money.
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Copyright Sir George Young Bt. 2015