Friday, 7 May 2010

Sleaze: Payback Time

MPs who attempted to defy public anger over their expenses abuses were punished at the ballot box during yesterday's General Election, as voters gleefully took their revenge. Disgraced former home secretary Jacqui Smith was among the MPs who paid the price for the sleaze that has engulfed the Commons.

Squirrel Nutkin suffered a well-deserved trouncing in her Redditch constituency, despite desperately enlisting the last-minute support of former Prime Minister Tony Bliar. She'd claimed over £116,000 during six years of designating her sister's house in London as her main home. Also, her husband Richard Timney claimed hard-core pornographic films on her taxpayer-funded expenses, though perhaps we can forgive him that. A visibly upset Nutkin was fighting back the tears after her humiliating defeat to the Conservatives was announced. She now plans to sell her second home, and move her entire family into her sister's spare bedroom.

Nearly a hundred and fifty MPs, many embroiled in the expenses row, had quietly announced their retirement in the run-up to the election. But a handful of the most brazen expenses cheats thought they could try their luck at the ballot box. Nutkin was the most-high profile of the expenses scalps, but former ministers Tony McNulty, Shahid Malik, Phil Hope, Vera Baird and Ann Keen have also been kicked out of office after making controversial claims. Goodbye, good riddance; snouts in the trough no more.

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