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David Amess in new expenses scandal
12:35pm Friday 19th October 2012 in News
DAVID Amess is in the midst of a new expenses scandal for claiming taxpayers money for rent while receiving rental income on another property.
The Southend West Tory MP is one of 27 MPs who are claiming expenses of up to £20,000 a year each for rent for a second home in London as well as receiving rent from properties that were often purchased and refurbished with taxpayer assistance.
Mr Amess has a flat on the Isle of Dogs which he has let since August 2011.
He began claiming £1,570 a month soon after starting to let out the flat.
While the MPs have done nothing wrong under parliamentary rules, the disclosures will prompt questions about how taxpayers’ money is being used.
The MP has been criticised as being hypocritical and angering his own constituents by the three main political parties locally.
Leader of the Lib Dem group Graham Longley said; “Any public money being misused by whoever will no doubt make local people angry. It’s not the first time David appears to have been in difficulty but he doesn’t seem to be keen to clear it up. He should make it clear so people know what the situation is.”
Ian Gilbert, leader of the Labour group, said: “In the context of Government austerity drive which he is probably supporting it seems hypocritical with all the various cuts taking place and to do this at taxpayers expense seems an extravagance.
“You could argue that Southend is close enough to commute as many local people do.”
These thoughts were echoed by Martin Terry, Independent group leader, who said: “South Essex based MPs frankly should not be entitled to claim for a flat in London.
“This is disgraceful. People will take a very dim view of this. What motive is there, does he really want to serve people or to line his pockets?”
Mr Amess is yet to respond to the Echo.