British minister Shahid Malik resigns over expensesMay 15th, 2009 - 8:28 pm ICT by IANS
London, May 15 (IANS) A scandal over parliamentary expenses claimed its first government scalp Friday when Britain’s Justice Minister Shahid Malik stepped down pending an inquiry into claims made in a newspaper.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s office said there will be an official inquiry into the Daily Telegraph’s claims that Malik paid a discounted rent in his main home in northern England while claiming expenses of over 66,000 pounds - more than any other MP - for his London home.
The paper said Malik’s main home was a three-bedroom house in his Dewsbury constituency in Yorkshire, for which he paid a discounted rent of less than 100 pounds a week.
The newspaper said he also claimed 730 pounds for a massage chair and 65 pounds for a court summons for the non-payment of council tax. He also tried to claim 2,600 pounds for a home cinema system, but it was reduced to just over 1,000 pounds.
The prime minister’s office said it expected Malik to rejoin the government.
Malik refused to apologise or return the money to the tax office, offering instead to donate the cost of his 40-inch flat screen television to a local charity.
“I have absolutely nothing to apologise for. I have done nothing wrong. I have not been at the periphery of the rules. I haven’t abused the rules, I have been absolutely at the core of the rules,” the minister said.
He described the paper’s claim as a “fabrication”.
The Daily Telegraph has been running frontpage revelations for the past eight days about dubious expenses claimed by British MPs, severely embarrassing all the major parties.
Another newspaper, the Daily Mail, said it was launching a campaign to mount private prosecutions against MPs.
The latest revelation came as the ruling Labour party slumped to its lowest ever opinion poll rating.
A YouGov poll for The Sun newspaper suggested Labour support at a general election would be 22 percent, with the Conservatives on 41 percent and the Liberal Democrats on 19 percent, a scenario that would hand the Conservatives a 152-seat majority in a general election.
- Swraj Paul drops non-domicile status, police drops probe - Mar 09, 2010
- Pak origin Brit minister in the dock for failing to disclose information about expenses - Jun 12, 2009
- England's gay Treasury chief spent over 40k pounds on lover's apartments - May 29, 2010
- MP's expense claims rise in a year - Sep 07, 2012
- Buckingham Palace connived to keep 'Brown at Number 10 to seal Tory-Leb Dem coalition' - Nov 14, 2010
- Nick Clegg puts up his house on sale - Sep 04, 2010
- Probe launched into Swraj Paul's expenses at his request - Oct 13, 2009
- Labour slumps to lowest ever poll rating - May 15, 2009
- British PM repays £500 for summer house painting - Dec 10, 2009
- Ex-minister sacked, Tory MP quits over allowances - May 14, 2009
- British government outlines tighter rules on expenses - May 21, 2009
- British parliamentary expenses published online after scandal - Jun 18, 2009
- British expenses scandal moves to heart of government - Jun 02, 2009
- British MPs draw flak for defying austerity measures - Jan 03, 2011
- Bedi should stop giving lectures on corruption: Agnivesh - Oct 20, 2011
Tags: british minister, british mps, court summons, daily mail, daily telegraph, eight days, flat screen television, gordon brown, home cinema system, justice minister, labour party, labour support, massage chair, northern england, official inquiry, opinion poll, prime minister gordon brown, private prosecutions, shahid malik, yougov poll