Expensegate (now also Doubleflipgate, Nomadgate and Donationgate) has previously been run by the paper that opened its chequebook, the Maily Telegraph, while the Daily Mail and its legendarily foul mouthed editor Paul Dacre (the man with the 1.5 million remuneration package) looked on. Not any more. Because today, the Mail on Sunday (of which Dacre is the managing editor) has an MP in its sights over an apparent maximising of claims under the Additional Costs Allowance (ACA).
The MP concerned has said, via his spokesman, that he has done nothing wrong in paying off the mortgage on his designated main home, while taking out a loan on his second home which coincidentally has allowed him to claim the maximum, or close to it, under the ACA for several years. This MP is a Tory, and we all know just how jolly strict they’re being about the expense business. So is he in line for standing down at the next General Election?
Well, no he isn’t. Because the chap the MoS has fingered in its story is none other than David Cameron himself. Dave’s second home in his Witney constituency, which looks awfully big for a mere pied à terre, is reckoned by the MoS to now be worth a whole 300k more than what he paid for it (although of course when the Daily Mail and “property values” come together in one sentence, this should be taken with a king size pinch of salt). And, despite Cameron being not exactly on his uppers, the public have been funding this “petite maison” to the tune of over 20k a year.
I did consider only last Friday what might happen if the press turned their attention on Young Dave’s expense arrangements; now, with exquisite pre-election timing, they have done just that. So what action will Dave take following this latest revelation? Will he tell that there are “serious questions” to be answered? Will he give himself a jolly stern talking to? Will there be the firm stamp of authoritative leadership?
Will there heck.