Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Oops - Tory 'shadow' caught campaigning on tax-payers' money

It seems that Mark Prisk, the self-styled Shadow Minister for Cornwall, may be getting his comeuppance.

Mr Prisk has been claiming up to £300 a time to visit the county and the taxpayers are funding these campaigning trips. He is being reported to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner for allegedly misusing public money.

Mr Prisk is legitimately a shadow business minister and is therefore entitled to ask Commons authorities to pay for his trips when he is in that role. But he has made 5 trips to Cornwall in just 9 months and fewer to any other part of the country it seems. The accusation is that he is using his business portfolio as cover for coming to Cornwall to campaign for the Tories - something which he is not allowed to claim any expenses for.

Mr Prisk grew up and went to school in Cornwall and still has family here. No doubt they will be glad that he visits them regularly, but should we the taxpayer have to fund such trips?

Mr Prisk is MP for Hertford and Stortford to the North East of London. A rule in Parliament is that he is not allowed to take up cases for people other than those in his own constituency. Julia Goldsworthy and Matthew Taylor have complained that he is doing just that and Mr Prisk was rebuked by the Speaker for breaking the rules. Now that the expense claims have come to light it looks like he will have to answer to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.

Hat tip - Western Morning News

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