Sunday, 18 November 2012

Helen Grant should resign as Maidstone's MP

18th November 2012
Stuart Jeffery, the Green Party's opponent against Helen Grant in the 2010 General Election for the Maidstone and the Weald constituency, has called for her resignation after it was revealed that she is breaking the spirit of the expenses rules while receiving three incomes and claiming for a second home while living in a £1.8m house 37 miles from the constituency but only 19 miles from Westminster. Channel 4's Dispatches are featuring Helen Grant in their programme, "MPs: Are they still at it?" on Monday 19th November[1].

Stuart Jeffery: "Helen Grant the Equalities Minister, lives is a £1.8m house in Reigate 37 miles from her Maidstone constituency but just 19 miles from Westminster. Reigate to Westminster is a journey that takes around 45 min to get to London and perhaps 10 mins more on the tube - yet she is allowed to claim for rent on a second home in London costing £20,000 per year[2].

"It seems that she is allowed to claim for a second home despite having her first home close to London. It might not be against the letter of the rules but it is clearly against the spirit of them.

"She is apparently earning £97k from her job as an MP and minister, a further £26k from her legal company and has made no secret of having a job outside Parliament. I make that three jobs, three more than her former assistant Tony Williams whose contract was changed without his knowledge and who then was made redundant by her.

"In a government that is destroying the lives of those most in need, the Equalities Minister is busy making her life very comfortable.

"Three jobs, doesn't live in the constituency or anywhere near it, soon won't have an office here, doesn't understand equalities and feels happy to claim what I consider unreasonable expenses for a second home. She clearly has no time for Maidstone's constituents and seems to complete disregard for the spirit of expenses.

"Helen Grant should resign as MP for Maidstone and the Weald."

Notes:
1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2234499/Minister-lives-1-8m-home-19-miles-Commons--claims-20k-London-flat.html
2. Channel 4's Dispatches
3. Helen Grant is Stuart's MP. He lives in the centre of Maidstone and stood against her for parliament in 2010.

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