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Local MP condemned for blocking independent audit proposals

July 6, 2008 9:00 PM

Houses of Parliament Westminster in LondonNorthampton South Conservative MP Brian Binley has been attacked by the Liberal Democrats for helping to vote down proposals for external auditing of all MPs' expenses.

148 Labour MPs, 21 Conservative MPs and UKIP's only MP united on Thursday 3rd July to vote down the proposal for an independent audit of all MPs' expenses claims.

No Liberal Democrat MP voted against the audit plans.

Commenting, Andrew Simpson, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Northampton North, said:

"This decision by MPs is foolish and wrong. It is a disaster for anyone who believes in cleaning up our politics and improving Parliament's reputation. The House of Commons had the chance to vote for proper auditing of everything MPs do with public money, but an unholy coalition of Labour and Conservative MPs prevented it.

Whilst it is heartening that the Labour MP for Northampton North, Sally Keeble, voted with 50 of her colleagues and the Liberal Democrats to support the proposal, it is deeply disappointed that Brian Binley voted against allowing all MPs' allowances to be externally audited. 54 of his Conservative colleagues joined the Liberal Democrats and some Labour MPs in voting for independent auditing. Brian Binley must tell us - why did he voted to water down the proposals?

"Rarely a week seems to pass without a story in the press about MPs apparently fiddling their finances. The vast majority of MPs are not corrupt. But so long as they resist having their expenses and allowances subject to robust, external audit, the public can be forgiven for wondering what they have got to hide."

Andrew Simpson has also welcomed the announcement by Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg that his party is committing to unilaterally introduce proposals rejected by Parliament yesterday, including independent spot checks of the expenses of the party's MPs:

"It is good to see Liberal Democrat MPs setting an example and showing that they have nothing to fear from open, independent scrutiny of their expenses.

"I hope that the Labour and Conservative leaderships will follow Nick Clegg's lead in implementing these measures, and we can begin to restore public confidence in politicians."

Note to editors

Details of how each MP voted can be found here:

http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2008-07-03&number=253&display=allpossible&sort=name