The MP for Saffron Walden, the Rt. Hon. Sir Alan Haselhurst, has issued the following statement:-
“The expense claims I made over recent years have been strictly in accordance with parliamentary rules. The designation of my constituency home as my second home instead of my rented flat in London was obligatory on my becoming Deputy Speaker. In terms of total expense claims I currently rank 582nd out of 646 MPs. However, my claim for gardening help has caused concern. Out of respect to my constituents I am this week repaying the sum of £12,000.
“I deeply regret the public anger which the expenses revelations have understandably generated. The rules governing them are no longer acceptable. The process of reform has already begun. In the meantime the claims of all Conservative MPs are being urgently reviewed by a Scrutiny Commission set up by David Cameron. The claims made by all MPs will be further examined by an independent audit body announced by the Speaker last week.
“I will naturally abide by whatever recommendations are made”.
Is that the shortest campaign in living memory? Perhaps Simon might like to turn his attention to Geoff Hoon or Alistair Darling? He might not look such a prize fool, then.