Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

MPs Facing Expenses Probe Won't Be Named - Official

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

MPs Facing Expenses Probe Won't Be Named - Official

Article excerpt

THE new Commons expenses watchdog is refusing to name MPs under investigation for dubious claims because it would be "unfair".

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) - which was brought in to clean up the discredited system - initially indicated politicians would be identified when a formal probe was launched.

It also suggested there would be a "presumption" for hearings with MPs to be held in public. However, the body's compliance officer Luke March has now insisted that details will not be disclosed until his inquiries conclude. If the MP is eventually cleared, there will be no official confirmation that they ever faced an allegation. The shift raises the prospect of the new regime being less transparent than its predecessor.

Ipsa chairman Sir Ian Kennedy told MPs earlier this year that preliminary investigations had been launched into 40 politicians' expenses claims since the general election.

The compliance officer's guidelines state that a substantive probe begins when there is "reason to believe that the MP may have been paid an amount under the scheme that should not have been allowed". …

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