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UK MPs’ expense shame continues

A fresh wave of revelations about MPs’ expense claims revealed that one spent thousands of pounds on security gates, as the middleman behind the leaks said he was “proud” of his role.

world Updated: May 23, 2009 22:51 IST

A fresh wave of revelations about MPs’ expense claims revealed that one spent thousands of pounds on security gates, as the middleman behind the leaks said he was “proud” of his role.

The latest MP targeted by the Daily Telegraph is Conservative business spokesman Jonathan Djanogly, who will now pay back 25,000 pounds of expense claims out of over 77,000 pounds he reportedly spent on his property.

Djanogly had automatic security gates installed at his constituency in Huntingdon at a cost of nearly 5,000 pounds.
In a statement, the MP said this was on police advice because of threats from animal rights activists.

The son of a multi-millionaire businessman and philathropist also spent nearly 13,000 pounds on gardening and nearly 14,000 pounds on cleaning expenses, the paper reported.

In the last two weeks, the Telegraph has published the expense claims, paid for from the public purse, of over 200 of the country's 646 MPs, prompting a furious reaction from commentators and the public.

The most high-profile casualty was House of Commons Speaker Michael Martin, who said this week he would quit, while several other MPs will not now stand at the next general election.

Saturday's Telegraph also carried the first interview with John Wick, a former special forces officer who acted as middleman between the anonymous source of the story and the newspaper.

“I feel proud to have played my part in what the Telegraph rightly describes as 'a very British revolution,’” said Wick, a Conservative supporter.

Two-thirds of voters want Prime Minister Gordon Brown to call a general election before the end of the year, according to Saturday's Guardian/ICM phone poll of 1,010 people conducted on May 20 and 21.