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MP Pickles should give up "second homes allowance"

March 27, 2009 4:15 PM
David Kendall

Cllr David Kendall, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate

Cllr David Kendall has called on Eric Pickles MP to give up the allowance he is claiming for a second home in London to undertake his parliamentary duties.

The matter came to light during Thursday night's BBC Question Time programme when Eric Pickles said he needed a second home in London because he lived 37 miles away and had to work long hours which would mean him leaving home at 5.30am and arriving back home in Brentwood at midnight. His comments drew a very hostile response from the Newcastle audience and at the end of the item Mr Pickles had to admit that "he hadn't made the best possible case" in defence of his actions.

Speaking on the matter Cllr Kendall, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary spokesman for Brentwood & Ongar, said:

"I am sure many residents will be shocked and surprised to hear that Eric Pickles is claiming this second home allowance. He could easily drive to Shenfield and get a fast train to and from London like everyone else has to. Sadly his comments show just how out of touch he is with the day to day reality of working life for many of his constituents. Many residents have jobs that mean they have to leave home at 5.30am by various means of transport and often arrive back very late at night but they aren't offered any special allowance to compensate for the disruption to their lifestyle so why should he?

"I think he should do the right thing and stop claiming this allowance immediately and also consider paying back some of the money he has received in the past to a local charity.

"If I am elected as the MP for Brentwood & Ongar I certainly would not claim a second homes allowance".

UPDATE: http://www.nickclegg.com/2009/04/pmq-1st-april-2009/

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