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Hammersmith MP ordered to repay 15.95 pounds after 9-month inquiry

December 25, 2010 - London

After nine months of investigation, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards has ordered the shadow justice minister, Andy Slaughter, to pay back 15.95 pounds in expenses.

The MP for Hammersmith had used free Commons stationery to organise a Labour rally in January, falling foul of rules which forbid the use of prepaid envelopes and free headed notepaper for political campaigning.

John Lyon, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, ruled that the rally at the House of Commons was a partisan event and ordered Slaughter to pay back the full cost of the envelopes and notepaper.

The shadow justice minister hit back at Greg Hands, the Conservative MP whose complaint triggered the investigation.

"The sum involved is just 15 pounds but it probably cost the taxpayer thousands of pounds' worth of man hours to investigate," The Telegraph quoted Slaughter as saying.

"The file is two inches thick. I don't have any criticism of the commissioner, who must investigate complaints whether they are 15 pounds or 15,000, pounds but clearly Greg Hands's purpose is just to tie me up in paperwork."

Hands, MP for Fulham, said he had been vindicated by the verdict.

"Having claimed innocence, he is now being caught red handed. I'm looking forward to a personal apology," he added.


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