8:24 am - July 1st 2009
The Telegraph this morning reports that Labour MP Harry Cohen has announced his decision to quit as an MP by the next election.
The MP had come under heavy criticism for his decision to claim more than £100,000 in second home expenses on a house in his constituency of Leyton and Wanstead, east London, within easy commuting distance of the Commons.
He was able to designate the Leyton property as his second home after registering a house 70 miles away in Colchester, Essex, as his main residence.
Though Tory MPs have paid back over a quarter of a million in expenses so far, Cameron has avoided firing any close friends / shadow cabinet members over their expenses.
But that scandal is likely to be over-shadowed by revelations over second-jobs, details of which are to be disclosed today. The disclosure of outside interests is more likely to affect the Tories. Cameron has already attempted some damage limitation by announcing that senior Tories will have to give up second jobs by the New Year.
But here too, there have been quietly muffled scandals. Last week it emerged that Michael Gove was paid around £1,250 per hour for articles for the Times. It was later revealed that Gove had also breached party rules by accepting money for writing about their policy area. Once exposed, Gove’s office hurriedly stated that he would donate those earnings to charity.
Chris is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He is an aspiring journalist and reports stories for LC.
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