Dont mention the Gravy Train

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Was Kemp 16 sheets to the wind?

Fraser Kemp, the Labour MP for Houghton & Washington East, who voted to keep MPs’ expenses secret, made repeat purchases of household items over the space of several weeks.

Kemp admitted that he should not have claimed for two DVD players one month after the other, and that claims for 16 sheets in the space of seven weeks for his one-bedroom flat were a mistake. A bloody ‘mistake’ if he cannot fill in an expense claim form in correctly how the hell has he been representing the interests of his constituents since 1996?

One thing is certain however. Kemp has been active in the Commons recently if only to represent his own interests by supporting a move to exclude MP’s expenses from Freedom of Information requests. Now we all know why!

Kemp said he would be repaying the money after The Sunday Telegraph asked him about the purchases. Will he be supporting all the burglars and shoplifters in his constituency who may offer to return stolen goods once they have been caught?

Kemp also claimed for two flat-screen televisions exactly a year apart. He tried to claim one of them for £1,699 but the fees office turned it down. Rather than pay for the television himself, Mr Kemp took it back to the store and got a refund. Maybe he had another memory lapse and accidently paid for it twice!

Kemp spoke in support of David Maclean’s Bill in 2007 to exempt Parliament from the Freedom of Information Act – a move which would have ensured that his expenses remained secret.

He also put through receipts for goods which appeared to double up several times. In May 2004, while living in a small flat designated as his second home near the House of Commons, he put through a claim for £47.94 for six sheets. A month later, he bought six more sheets, seven pillowcases and eight throws for £141.77. Three weeks after that, he bought four more sheets for £45.72. He claimed £89.97 for a DVD player in April 2004, then the following month bought another for £69.99 and claimed that back.

Although his London flat was designated as his second home, Mr Kemp bought some of the goods for it from stores in and around Washington.An upright Whirlpool freezer and separate fridge costing £279.48 were bought in Iceland in Washington in December 2004. A DVD player, together with a video recorder and £599 flat-screen television, came from Comet in Sunderland in April 2004.

Kemp tried to claim for a second television, a Samsung with a plasma screen costing £1,699, in April 2005. When the fees office wrote to him to advise that it could only pay up to £750 for a television, Mr Kemp took the item back to Currys on the Old Kent Road in London. So we can assume that if he was using his own money he would’nt have paid £1.699 for a tenants telly in the first place – cheeky b*****d !!!

He also charged the taxpayer £105.75 for an engineer to attend to his washing machine when he could not figure out how to operate it. An invoice from F&M Services in May 2005 records that the customer reported that “the selector wheel is not clicking round to drain”. After examining the appliance, the engineer writes: “Machine set on rinse hold. Advised customer.” Good lord! He was supposed to be representing his constituents in Parliament but could he not read a set of instructions? !!!

Kemp, who is standing down at the next election, seems to have profited from the sale of his flat after claiming legal fees of £1,532 back from the taxpayer.
He sold the property for £230,000 in December 2005, five years after buying it for an estimated £110,000. Kemp then bought an apartment for £475,000 and his mortgage claims increased by more than 50 per cent, from £600 to £1,054 a month.
He had to be reminded by the parliamentary fees office in April 2005, a month before the general election, that he could not claim for property service charges and rates for the whole year as he had not been re-elected yet. Last night Kemp said: “Bed linen and a second DVD player was an error for which I apologise and will pay back” Tell that to the marines!!!.

Asked whether he had paid capital gains tax on the sale of his second home, the MP said: “I’ll seek advice from HMRC to ensure appropriate liabilities have been met.”
I wonder what he would have done if he had’nt been found out


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