London: A former British minister was suspended from the parliamentary Labour party Thursday for claiming 16,000 pounds for a home loan that he had already paid off.
Elliot Morley’s suspension was announced by Prime Minister Gordon Brown on a day several MPs said they were paying back money that they had claimed in expenses that have been seen as dubious.
Also Thursday, opposition Conservative Party MP Andrew MacKay quit as an aide to party leader David Cameron after both he and his wife – also a Conservative MP – were found to be claiming expenses for two homes.
Morley, a former agriculture minister and currently chair of the energy and climate change select committee, claimed his home loan allowance 18 months after he had paid off the mortgage.
The two are among a large number of British MPs – belonging to all the political parties – who have been named by the Daily Telegraph newspaper over the past seven days in leaks about parliamentary allowances.
“Where there is irregularity it will be dealt with immediately,” Brown said after suspending Morley.
MPs have been embarrassed by revelations they claimed taxpayer’s cash for expensive home improvements, maintaining domestic staff, repairing swimming pools and tennis courts and – in one case – cleaning a moat around his country house.