Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Clegg to implement MEC proposals on MPs expenses

Liberal Democrat Leader, Nick Clegg, has today committed to unilaterally introduce the recommendations of the Members Estimates Committee for independent spot checks of MPs expenses.

Despite Labour and Conservative MPs defeating the MEC’s recommendations last Thursday, the Liberal Democrats will go ahead with implementing those that are relevant in order to further improve accountability.

Nick Clegg said:
"The Liberal Democrats will now implement as many of the recommendations as we can to tighten up the rules on MPs expenses - particularly those relating to spot checks of MPs expense claims.

"My Shadow Cabinet will shortly be publishing quarterly breakdowns of their expenses and I expect this to be the first of several measures to greatly improve how we account for ourselves.

"I hope that Gordon Brown and David Cameron will join me in implementing these measures so that together we can begin to restore public confidence in politicians after what has been a very damaging week."

The steps will include:
· Working with the Institute of Chartered Accountants to draw up detailed proposals to implement spot checks of expenses for Liberal Democrat MPs. The Liberal Democrat Chief Whip, Paul Burstow, will be meeting with the Institute of Chartered Accountants shortly to discuss these issues.
· Establishing an independently chaired Audit Board for the Party to oversee issues of probity and integrity.
· Publishing a detailed breakdown of expenses of all Liberal Democrat Shadow Cabinet members.
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