Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Questions our MP must answer...

South Holland and Deepings MP John Hayes claimed more than twice as much as any other MP for mobile phone charges in the first four months of the new Parliament, according to the Daily Telegraph

The Telegraph which blew the lid on the scandal of Parliamentary expenses by exposing abuse by MPs,reports : "John Hayes spent £1,556 on mobile phone bills, twice the next-highest amount."

The period covered expense claims by MP from May 7 to August 31.

Almost £100 a week on phone bills sounds like a staggering amount, even for an MP.

But when the money is claimed from the public purse by a member of a Coalition Conservative-LibDem Govermment that keeps telling us 'we're all in this together'...surely those who are paying the bill are entitled to ask questions.

For there appears to be more than a whiff of hypocrisy in an MP spending more in a single day on phone bills than most of us spend in a month:

At the same time, Mr Hayes' Government is TREBLING tuition fees to make Uni students pay up to £9,000 a year, SLASHING funds for local policing by a staggering 20 per cent (despite Mr Hayes personally campaigining for more money for policing in Lincolnshire and getting re-elected on a promise of 'more police on our streets...').

Then there's the eye-watering 28 per cent CUTS to local councils here in Lincolnshire - on top of SCRAPPING the world renowned school sports partnership hailed by teachers here in south Lincs and across the country as achieving fantastic results.

Could this be the same Mr Hayes who launched a shameful personal attack on me a couple of years over 'expenses'.

In a desperate attempt to stop me being elected to South Kesteven District Council, Mr Hayes personally deliver disgraceful leaflets down my street the day before polling.

The wholly misleading leaflets suggested that as county councillor for DSJ, I had claimed a staggering amount in expenses.

As Mr Hayes well knows, unlike most county councillors - and unlike him - I never claimed a penny over eight years despite regularly driving the 90-mile round trip backwards and forwards to the council's offices in Lincoln.

I was entitled to thousands of pounds over the years. In fact, the public record shows I never claimed a single penny.

And by the way, in my seven or so years as a member of Lincolnshire Police Authority, I never claimed either for travel expenses, or the £20 an hour on offer that others claimed for doing the job.

Not looking for plaudits, but under false personal attack, it's important to me that the truth is known.

Sadly, the truth didn't stop Mr Hayes delivering his eve-of-election leaflets smearing my personal character.

If I was rich, I could have sought legal remedy in the courts. To be frank, I would have accepted a simple apology.

It never came - despite Mr Hayes claiming in his leaflets at this year's General Election: 'I'll never attack my local political opponents personally...'

Not sure what he would call his unjustified personal attacks on me over 'expenses'. I'm fairly certain that a court of law would call it an personal attack on my character made without justification.

In any case, it is surely reasonable to ask Mr Hayes why he now thinks it is right that taxpayers have paid his rather large phone bill.

Some might even say his bill is 'staggering'.

Of course, there may be a simple explanation and I'm sure that in the interests of transparency and accountability, Mr Hayes will now wish publish the offending phone bills.

Watch this space...