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David Clelland MP – your chance to reply?

Dear David Clelland,

I thought I would just drop you a note to enquire whether you are planning at any stage to give your side of the story when it comes to your expenses for your duties as my local MP. As an aside, it seems quite quaint to send a real letter in this modern era but you have no email address on your website and even the excellent website doesn’t have one for you. Odd in this modern era of social networking and instant communication that you don’t want people to get in touch by the easiest methods.

As you’re no doubt well aware the Telegraph has made some mischief by revealing your expenses in relation to your second home (David Clelland: Home buy-out costs taxpayer thousands on MP’s expenses). I would be interested to hear your side of the story as the evidence as presented seems a little a damning. A number of MPs have decided to publish their expenses themselves including the much respected Labour MP Frank Field (see the Guardian – Growing number of MPs putting their expenses online) but your name seems to be missing from the list of those volunteering the information (when I check on Tuesday 19th May).

Of course your voting record on Transparency of Parliament is not great – you were either absent or voted against every positive amendment to the Freedom of Information Act and as recently as April 30th 2009 you were voting against having to provide receipts for all your reimbersed expenditure as an MP. A little unfair given the lengths small businesses have to go to in this country to meet HMRC regulations. As a retailer I have to keep VAT records on every transaction – no matter how small – for seven years.

Anyway, the matter seems to be that you, at the tax-payers expense, bought out your partner from your London flat. Perhaps you were going your separate ways? It then is turns out that you went on to marry your partner a year later. Unless you have a pre-nuptial agreement of some description this surely means that your partner now effectively owns 50% of the flat again. But we the taxpayers in this country are now footing the whole bill. Now it may be that all of that is mischief from the Telegraph – I’d love to hear your side of the story so do feel free to reply and let me know.

Thanks for taking the time to read this letter and I look forward to hearing from you shortly.

Yours sincerely

Andy Redfern

PS In effort to be transparent I have posted a copy of this letter on my blogs.