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Expenses inquiry will fail, says MP

PUBLISHED: 16:23 15 October 2009 | UPDATED: 16:29 07 September 2010

FINCHLEY and Golders Green MP Rudi Vis has slammed the inquiry into MPs expenses, describing some of the demands on his colleagues to pay back thousands of pounds as absolutely ridiculous . Mr Vis was reacting to the orders of Sir Thomas Legg, who has be

FINCHLEY and Golders Green MP Rudi Vis has slammed the inquiry into MPs expenses, describing some of the demands on his colleagues to pay back thousands of pounds as "absolutely ridiculous".

Mr Vis was reacting to the orders of Sir Thomas Legg, who has been given the tough job of looking into MPs' expenses after they were dramatically made public earlier this year.

But Mr Vis believes the growing opposition from his colleagues towards Sir Thomas will result in the inquiry's collapse.

The MP, who is stepping down at the next election, has not been ordered to repay any claims but has been asked to provide proof of his mortgage payments on his London home.

He said: "I have shown them these receipts about 29 times before. I have never charged for anything, not for food nor gardening, telephone calls or taxis.

"I actually think this will collapse. From listening to my colleagues there have apparently been some extraordinary mistakes made. I don't think he [Sir Thomas] has been given sufficient time to look into everyone's expenditures.

"MPs who have been dishonest should have to pay it back and they should be rapped for it, as well as not being allowed to stand for their party at the next election.

"But I don't think you can reinvent the rules going back four or five years. What should have happened is to say the rules are absolutely useless and set some new ones."

Sir Thomas confirmed this week that no action or any further investigation was required in the case of Hornsey & Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone.

Labour MPs Glenda Jackson and Frank Dobson are immune from Sir Thomas's investigations because he is looking only at claims made under the additional costs allowance, which is not available to inner-London MPs.

Ms Jackson told the Ham&High all MPs must play their part in making sure the scandal does not occur again. She said: "Cleaning up this system of expenses is the responsibility of every member of the House of Commons. The issue is over trust the electorate has in Parliament and if it is damaged then it is our responsibility to build it up."

Meanwhile, a recent YouGov poll on marginal constituencies has claimed Labour MPs in London face defeat. It shows the new Hampstead and Kilburn seat, which Ms Jackson will fight, and Finchley and Golders Green will fall to the Conservatives.

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