Female Tory MP spent 50,000 on home extension for her brother

See the Mail’s story of Tory MP Julie Kirkbride who used her expenses account to pay 50,000 pounds for a home extension for her rent free brother, and 1,000 pounds for glamorous pictures of herself. Kirkbridge’s husband, Andrew MacKay, is also an MP and he claimed 140,000 pounds for a second homes allowance when he had no second home.

The story has an interesting baby sitting angle:

The latest revelation is particularly damaging because MPs are banned from claiming the costs of childcare and Miss Kirkbride had recruited her brother Ian, a 59-year-old bachelor, to help care for her son Angus, eight.

She said the new room was necessary because it ‘was inappropriate’ for her son and brother to share a room.

But if she had hired a babysitter, there would have been no need for the extension, sparking fresh accusations that she has milked the expenses system to line her family’s pockets….

Miss Kirkbride said: ‘I would dearly love to be re-elected to the job that I simply adore,’ but conceded ‘If David Cameron asks me to go, then of course I will do as he asks.’

And today she claimed her vilification could have a knock-on effect by deterring mothers from becoming MPs.

‘What effect will stories like mine have on mothers who aspire to be MPs? We want Parliament to be more representative and that includes women with school-age children,’ she wrote in the Times. [LA replies: actually no. In a sane society, mothers with small children would not be in high level, high pressure jobs such as member of parliament.]

She again defended herself against the criticism laid against her, saying: ‘It is hugely upsetting for me to realise that I have let people down.

‘To know that many in Bromsgrove are angry and disappointed is terrible. I am truly sorry for any actions that have broken the trust between me and the people I serve.’

‘Second home’: Julie Kirkbride’s home near Redditch, Worcestershire, where her brother lives rent-free. His business was also registered at the address

Help from her brother and sister was essential to her work as an MP and making sure her son was looked after properly, she insisted.

‘It’s not about profit, it’s about keeping the family together while being available for my constituents.

‘My brother receives no money, he does it because he loves me and his nephew and wants to be supportive. As any working mother knows, money can’t buy that kind of out-of-office-hours childcare.’

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 28, 2009 12:00 PM | Send

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