Cambridge MP's expenses

David Howarth, Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge (pictured left), appears to be one of the few members who has not yet become entangled in the expenses row and says that he welcomes investigations in the wake of the Daily Telegraph's coverage.

"There is no justifcation, under any circumstances, for MPs to buy property with money from their allowances," he has said, which is quite right as far as Acid Rabbi is concerned. "The second homes allowance should be restricted to paying for hotel accommodation or a furnished rental property." We'd have to argue on that, feeling that they shouldn't get any allowance, but it seems David's a better man than most of his Parliamentary colleagues. Please don't let us down, David.

The same cannot be said of Cambridgeshire South MP Andrew Lansley (pictured right), however. Lansley, who is also the Tory Shadow Health Minister, claimed £4,000 to cover the cost of work on his Melbourn home just a short while before selling it for £433,000. What's more, according to the Telegraph, he "flipped" this property with his other home in London shortly before sealing the deal, thus allowing him to claim more on that one - including £750 for a Laura Ashley sofa. He rejects the notion that he "changed the designation" of his "second home in order to maximise benefits from allowances." But he would say that, wouldn't he?

The Cambridge News says that it "repeatedly" tried to contact Mr. Lansley to ask him about his claims but as of yet has had no response. A spokesman from the TaxPayers' Alliance - who earlier today lodged a complaint with the police over Elliot Morley's dodgy mortgage claims - said, "If Mr Lansley was claiming for renovation costs only a short time before selling this house, he should have paid back those costs from the profit he made."

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