Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Holidaying MPs Afraid to Admit They're Taking Exotic Breaks

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Holidaying MPs Afraid to Admit They're Taking Exotic Breaks

Article excerpt

Byline: Nicholas Cecil and Joe Murphy

MPs are refusing to own up to holidays outside Europe this summer in the wake of public fury over their expenses.

Any plans to go to the Caribbean or other faraway destinations have been ditched or kept closely under wraps as the row over duckhouse, moat-cleaning and servants' quarters claims rumbles on in the recession.

Tory leader David Cameron is off to France while Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg is going back to the in-laws in a dusty village in central Spain.

Home Secretary Alan Johnson is flying to Portugal, Transport Secretary Lord Adonis to Bordeaux, Foreign Secretary David Miliband will be spending time in Italy and Ireland, and Health Secretary Andy Burnham is going to Scotland and Spain.

But other Cabinet ministers including millionaire Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward, who is married to the supermarket heiress Camilla Sainsbury and has a [pounds sterling]5 million holiday home on the private Caribbean island of Mustique, were keeping tight-lipped about their holiday plans for "security reasons".

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson was said to have not yet decided where he will be relaxing this summer. He was famously involved in the "yachtgate" spat with George Osborne last summer after they were both hosted by Russian aluminium tycoon Oleg Deripaska on his [pounds sterling]60 million boat moored off Corfu.

Shadow chancellor Mr Osborne will be in Cornwall and Spain, while Chancellor Alistair Darling is among a pack of MPs bound for Scotland. He hopes to spend time in the Western Isles.

Gordon Brown went to Southwold in Suffolk last year but Downing Street was keeping his plans for this summer secret on security grounds.

The Scottish hills also beckon for Liberal Democrat deputy leader Vince Cable, MP for Twickenham. …

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