Dame Shirley Porter Deal Could Cost Taxpayers Pounds 30m

The Birmingham Post (England), July 1, 2004 | Go to article overview

Dame Shirley Porter Deal Could Cost Taxpayers Pounds 30m


Taxpayers will lose around pounds 30 million today unless a settlement deal between Dame Shirley Porter and the council she owes pounds 42 million is halted, a Midland Labour MP has warned.

Peter Bradley (right) told the Commons that a proposed payment of just pounds 12.3 million of debts from the 1980s 'homes for votes' gerrymandering scandal would become final on July 1.

Unless ministers stepped in, Tesco heiress and former Westminster leader Dame Shirley would be freed of the rest of the debt even if further assets were uncovered or inherited, he said.

Mr Bradley, the MP for the Wrekin and a former Westminster councillor, attacked the secret deal and said it would not be fair on the victims of the scandal if it were allowed to stand.

But junior minister Yvette Cooper said the Government had no power to intervene.

Dame Shirley owes the council pounds 42 million in surcharges, interest and costs following the late 1980s scandal, during which council homes were sold off to potential Tory voters in marginal wards. …

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