Malik, Johnson and Balls attempt to claim for poppy wreaths

Two MPs - Shahid Malik (Labour, Dewsbury) and Ed Balls (Labour, Normanton) - along with Mayor of London Boris Johnson all attempted to make expenses claims to recoup the cost of commemorative wreaths, according to the Daily Telegraph. The wreathes are sold on behalf of the Royal British Legion, a charity which looks after the needs of both current and retired members of the British Armed Forces, for just £16.50 and are commonly laid on war memorials and at various events during Remembrance Sunday when those who died serving Britain in WW1 (but also those who fell in other conflicts) are honoured. Once the cost of manufacture has been covered, proceeds are used to provide financial, social and emotional support to survivors.

Mr. Johnson made his claim during his time as Conservative MP for Hendon. Mr. Balls submitted his, for two wreaths at £33, in 2007. Mr. Malik has made two separate claims, one in 2006 and another in 2007, providing an invoice from the Legion in both instances. In both cases, he was refused and informed by the Commons that his claims did not "fall within the remit of this allowance." All three have subsequently said that the claims were mistakenly submitted by staff - though Mr. Malik is either unable or unwilling to answer to questions on why his signature appears on the claim forms.

Royal British Legion poppy wreaths are laid in huge numbers on war memorials every November. Sales of them raise large sums for the world-famous charitable organisation.

Labour back-bencher Frank Cook tried to claim to recover the cost of a £5 donation he made to a church Battle of Britain memorial service. His claim was also denied and he later apologised.

Mr. Malik, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Balls and Mr. Cook - the chances of any of you ever reading this blog are admittedly very slight (though seeing as how I'm a tax-payer and therefore almost certainly paid for a percentage of your computers, maybe you owe me a read) but nevertheless, just in case one of you should ever happen to find us, we've provided a link that we think you may find informative:

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