Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Deputy Mayor Lied over Expenses Claims for Lunch with His Lover

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Deputy Mayor Lied over Expenses Claims for Lunch with His Lover

Article excerpt

Byline: Andrew Gilligan and Paul Waugh

A DEPUTY mayor sacked by Boris Johnson lied about expenses claims he made over meals with his lover, it was revealed today.

Ian Clement, 44, was forced out of office yesterday over charges made on his City Hall credit card.

Today an Evening Standard investigation confirms that on at least three occasions Mr Clement claimed for lunch and dinner with "guests" who now say they were not present.

It is understood that in two instances he was entertaining 23-year-old Claire Dowson instead. Mr Clement, who has a child with his long-term partner in Dartford, has escorted Ms Dowson at public events, including Barnet council's mayor-making ceremony.

Recently Ms Dowson, a Conservative Party agent, took Mr Clement as her guest to the Westminster Cathedral wedding and reception of rising Tory star Sachin Rajput.

A City Hall source said Mr Johnson was "incandescent with rage" when he discovered the discrepancies in Mr Clement's expense claims.

"He is trying to run two households, one with the mother of his child in Dartford and one with Claire in Barnet," another source added.

A spokeswoman for the Met confirmed that a complaint had been received about Mr Clement. It is understood it has been referred to the unit looking at MPs' expenses.

The Mayor faces questions over why he failed to intervene earlier. Mr Clement is Mr Johnson's third deputy mayor to go since his election last year.

The Greater London Authority's business management and administration committee will tomorrow question the Mayor's chief of staff and finance director over how the expenses system could be so lax.

Mr Clement, the deputy mayor for government relations, claimed he had two lunches, totalling [pounds sterling]105, with two Tory council leaders in his official capacity. He said that one lunch, at Pizza Express in Barnet on 31 October, was with the leader of Enfield council Michael Rye. Mr Rye said: "That lunch did not take place. He was with me in Enfield that day. I saw him off at our civic centre in his Jag and that was the last I saw of him -- before 12 o'clock."

Mr Rye said the false claim "was very evident when I checked the receipt online, because I would not touch an Americano or [Coke], which was down as on the bill". …

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