Socialist Worker

Same old sleaze of the Tories

Issue No. 2154

The Tories are presenting themselves as the party of change – but some things remain the same.

Tory frontbencher Charles Hendry used our money to pay for two servants at his £750,000 farmhouse in East Sussex over three years. Hendry, the MP for Wealdon, also owns a £2.56 million town house in Westminster.

Hendry is the second senior Tory found to have claimed money to pay for servants. Sir John Butterfill, MP for Bournemouth West, claimed £17,000 for servants’ quarters at his second home.

Other Tories have somewhat more basic requirements. John Greenway, Tory MP for Ryedale, claimed 59p for a box of matches.

He also claimed £1,900 for redecorating his second home – which he then sold for £280,000 profit.

Millionaire David Cameron is to be questioned over his claims – by the body he runs to look into Tory MPs’ expenses.

He chose to buy his main home outright rather than reduce his publicly funded second-home mortgage over five years.

Cameron took out a £350,000 mortgage on his constituency home in Oxfordshire when he became an MP in 2001. By declaring it as a second home he could claim £20,000 a year towards the repayments.

But within four months of buying it, he paid off £75,000 he owed on a house in London.

If he had kept the loan on the London home and borrowed £75,000 less on the Oxfordshire home, he could have saved us £22,000.

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