What is not allowed under the guidance is for an MP to use public funds to pay for a local constituency party's accommodation and other costs - including photocopying, phone costs, premises costs, legal costs and cleaning costs.
Lewisham East Labour Party has no contact address other than the premises claimed for by Ms Prentice. There is no evidence in the published expenses claims that these were shared or reduced to reflect a splitting of costs between Ms Prentice and the Lewisham East Labour Party. Lewisham East Labour Party claims an exemption from filing Accounting Unit accounts with the Electoral Commission on the basis that its turnover is under £50k.
Under these circumstances, I shall be submitting a request for an investigation into Ms Prentice's expenses to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.
Bridget has already announced her plans to stand down at the next election. Although holding a polar world view to hers, and once irritated beyond measure by a clumsy response from her office to a letter, the truth is that she has served her constituents no worse than most MPs and a lot better than some. There is absolutely no suggestion in her expenses of personal troughing - none whatsoever. At the next election I shall be voting in a new constituency as the result of boundary changes - so perhaps I should be looking at Joan Ruddock's claims. If Bridget reads this, I would like to assure her I have no personal animosity towards her, but rather a sort of regret. I had perversely hoped that Bridget would be cast-iron on the expenses front.
And to prove that MPs are human, and even on occasion both generous and forgiving, I'll share with you a comment received on this blog to my incandescent tirade against Ms Prentice's letter;
I have just seen this blog. You are absolutely correct. The grammar and flowery language were appalling. How it got past me, I don't know especially as I'm usually a bore about the aberrant apostrophe, the split infinitive etc.I probably should have written 'Eats ,Shoots and Leaves'.
But I take full responsibility. You have my sincere apologies (for the grammar, not the opinion. There we will just have to agree to disagree)
But thanks for pointing it out.
And any mistakes in this are entirely my own - I have never come to terms with the style of emails and blogs . They always seem so abrupt!