May 13, 2009 2 Comments
Bob Spink, Independent MP for Castle Point, Essex, gave his backing for an expenses study in February 2008.
Spink ”called for an end to all MPs’ allowances, for the House to deal with all MPs’ costs and be the employer of all MPs’ staff, and for all staff to be properly qualified”, the echo reported last year.
Later that year Spink defected from being a Ukipper to an independent on the basis that Ukip had no whip, and therefore being as good as an independent anyway, despite continuing to be an avowed Ukipper.
It was a brave move of Spink to talk out on expenses, even going on Newsnight to discuss it, because he had been caught up in a row in 2007. Reported in the same paper, and by the same reporter, it emerged that Spink ranked among the top 10% highest spending MP’s “so [he] can do the best possible job for [his] constituents”.
The article explains;
“The MP, a member of the cross-party Parliamentary science committee, claimed £152,937 between April 2005 and March 2006, according to his expenses – which he has released ahead of other MPs.
His spending ranks him 64th out of 646 MPs.
On top of his stated salary of £60,000, the annual gross income for Dr Spink adds up to almost £213,000.”
Which is all the more reason why I was (not) surprised to see his smiling face staring back at me in today’s echo, pointing out that ‘we [big spenders] must hang our heads in shame’. It turns out that Spink claimed a further £135,016 between April 2007 and March 2008, which is a curious amount given the things he doesn’t claim for (as reported today, he doesn’t claim for charity dinners anymore, dog food, gardening costs nor part of his second home which he puts £10,000 towards out of his own pocket). Where is this and his salary going?
He has apologised for his expenses, though (phew!).
Compare his to Thurrock Labour MP, Monarchy basher, and Russian spy enthusiast Andrew Mackinlay, who issued a statement “saying he was a low claimant who did not profit from the system”. A last minute goal in an area flirtatious with the BNP.