UK police to investigate lawmakers' expenses

Officers from Economic and Specialist Crime Command will investigate whether "a small number" of lawmakers and peers misused their expense allowances.

By
June 19, 2009 22:48
1 minute read.
UK police to investigate lawmakers' expenses

Jacqui Smith 248.88. (photo credit: AP)

 
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British police have launched a criminal investigation into expenses claims by several lawmakers, following a scandal that has rocked the country's political establishment. The Metropolitan Police force said Friday that officers from its Economic and Specialist Crime Command would investigate whether "a small number" of lawmakers and peers misused their expense allowances. The force would not disclose the names or political affiliations of the legislators involved. Britain's political system has thrown into turmoil by a scandal over the misuse of lawmakers' expense accounts A month ago a newspaper began publishing leaked details that revealed claims on the public purse for everything from cookies and porn movies to an ornamental duck house. Most damagingly, they revealed that some legislators had manipulated the rules to furnish or upgrade homes, avoid taxes or claim for mortgage payments on home loans that had already been paid off. Revelations over the expenses have led dozens of lawmakers to quit ministerial jobs or announce they'll soon leave Parliament. An outraged British public scolded the country's major political parties by voting in large numbers for fringe groups in recent local and European elections. Parliamentary authorities published their own version of the legislators' claims online Thursday, but with many of the revealing details blacked out. The secrecy - which authorities said was for security reasons - prompted renewed calls for more transparency in politics.

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