Andrew MacKay is my MP. I live in his Bracknell constituency. Today he has quit his role as a senior adviser to David Cameron (or been forced to stand down) because of a scandal involving him and his wife claiming second home allowances on both of their family homes.
Thursday, 14 May 2009
According to his comments during the interview linked to above (where Matthew Amroliwala ripped him to shreds) they have two family homes. Mr MacKay claimed that their London home was their second home and his wife (Julie Kirkbride) claimed that their Midlands home was their second home. This has apparently been going on for 8 or 9 years. It is estimated that the amount they have claimed that should not have been here is well over £100,000.
He has apologised and is now saying that he is going to speak to his constituents about his position and to explain himself. He will arrange a meeting next week in the consitutency next week where people can make their feeling felt.
Right, well seeing as he is asking, here is my view Mr MacKay as one of your constituents.
I am absolutely disgusted by your behaviour. Of all the things I have heard that MPs have been up to with these claims in the last week (and there have been a lot of very bad things) this is the worst and I am utterly ashamed that it is my Member of Parliament who has done this. If a member of the public had done a comparable thing on their expenses they would be fired and would almost certainly be investigated for fraud. Offering to repay the money and claiming that they thought it was OK or were advised as such would be no defence. In the interview you said it was brought to your attention recently. Did it really need to be? Did you not know that a married couple of MPs claiming for 2 second home allowances was morally wrong?
I think you should do what David Davis did last year and stand down forcing a by-election in Bracknell. I think you should then seek a new mandate from the electorate in the constituency in order to continue as an MP. We can then give you our verdict at the ballot box.
You can rest assured that I will be attending the public meeting next week to make this point to you in person.
UPDATE2: I did indeed attend the meeting and here is my post about it.