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Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Stewart Jackson MP [of MP's expenses swimming pool claim fame] 'shocked' about level of Peterborough Housing Benefits

                          




Stavros Flatley and ex LLoyds Bank Manager
Stewart Jackson MP., perfoming the River Nene Dance?

What has ex. Loyds Bank Manager Stewart Jackson MP done for his part of the City of Peterborough? On the They Work for You website it's difficult to find out but on Twitter, he has time to currently rant about the level of housing benefit being paid out in the City.

The MP conveniently forgets that he is also in receipt of a form of an eye-watering massive 'housing benefit' for his own palatial "second" home in Peterborough funded by the taxpayer.

Stewart Jackson MP passes himself of as being the MP for the whole of the City of Peterborough, when in fact he only has a small part of the City, other constituencies being run by hard working MP's.

Just so we all understand how the ex Lloyds bank manager Mr Stewart Jackson MP sympathetically deals with fiscal matters,  below is the story The Daily Telegraph ran during the MPs' expenses series of scandals, which will soon see some sitting MPs and former MPs starting a series of Crown Court Trials from November onwards. See earlier Duckhouse posts.

The defendants, all having exhausted the appeals process, deny various charges of false accounting in connection with MPs' expenses. The Winter is going to be a fascinating time for those looking in on such matters.

Appeared or appearing in a Court near you?


The then Tory communities spokesman Stewart Jackson MP switched his second home allowance to the £470,000 property in his constituency of Peterborough when he bought it in November 2005.


Mr Stewart Jackson, who was elected to Parliament only six months before he moved in, claimed £304 for work on the pool. After being approached by The Daily Telegraph  Stewart Jackson MP conceded that the claim “could be construed as excessive” and agreed to repay the money. 

Stewart Jackson MP also billed the taxpayer for more than £11,000 in professional fees and costs incurred during the move. Stewart Jackson MP went on to claim thousands more in new furniture, carpets and appliances for the new house.


Stewart Jackson MP  had previously rented a £168,000 terraced house in the constituency for about £475 per month. Since moving into the larger house he has claimed interest charges on its mortgage of between £1,500 and £1,700 per month.

While  Stewart Jackson MP  has designated the property as his second home for expenses purposes, his profile on the Conservative Party website says that he and his wife Sarah O’Grady, a journalist with the Daily Express, “live in central Peterborough with their baby daughter Isabel”.


Stewart Jackson MP and his wife Sarah O'Grady also own a house in Ealing, west London, which they bought in 1998. It is unclear how much they paid. The house next door was sold in 2003 for £481,125.


Stewart Jackson MP claimed for a long list of professional services when the family moved into their new house in Peterborough. 

Stewart Jackson MP paid £1,336 in mortgage fees, £705 for a survey, £435 for insurance and £600 to his building society.  Stewart Jackson MP also claimed for £1,836 in mortgage broker fees, £2,545 solicitors’ fees, £1,145.63 solicitors’ conveyancing costs and a £2,412 initial mortgage charge.


During the same year  Stewart Jackson MP claimed more than £1,300 for “household expenditure” – spanning bedding, kitchenware, lightbulbs and other purchases – from John Lewis, and £200 for a new refrigerator.

The following year Stewart Jackson MP  claimed £3,000 for a 100 per cent wool berber carpet for the house. He then claimed £741 for a king-size bed.


Stewart Jackson MP also claimed £1,300 for the refurbishment of his “wood block”, £775 for plumbing work in his “summer room” and more than £1,000 on other refurbishment and fabrics.


In 2007 Stewart Jackson MP claimed more than £1,430 for the installation of security gates at the house, carpentry bills and repairs to his television aerial.


In the three years since he was elected, Mr Stewart Jackson MP has claimed a total of £66,722 for the house. The current tally is much higher....


 Mr Stewart Jackson MP said: “I believe my use of the Additional Costs Allowance always represents 'value for money’ for the taxpayer, as required by the Green Book — and at all times I have abided by the rules.”



It's OK Stewart, I'll head for the shallow end!

“The pool came with the house and I needed to know how to run it,” Mr Stewart Jackson MP said. “The £304.10 was a one-off claim. However, I accept that this claim could be construed as excessive and I therefore apologise and I will make arrangements to repay this sum.”


Mr Stewart Jackson MP in fact attempted to claim £28 for further pool maintenance in October 2006. However, an official in the Commons fees office informed him that the claim had been rejected.


Stewart Jackson MP said his move to the larger house in Peterborough had been necessary because his daughter had previously “slept in a Moses basket on the floor”. I understand that John Lewis did a reasobale drop-sided cot for around £100, no doubt that too could be claimed on MPs' expenses!


Stewart Jackson MP


Previous Job: Junior Tory communities spokesman


Salary: £64,766 (You try getting a £470,000 mortgage on a salary of £64k!)


Total second home claims


2004-05: N/A


2005-06: £21,529


2006-07: £22,110


2007-08: £23,083

2008-9  Not Known but probably around £24,000

2009-10  Not Known but probably around £25,000

Clearly Mr Stewart Jackson MP with his constant sniping during 2010 on Twitter is not fully engaged with his parliamentary career and has too much time on his hands, so perhaps the Hon David Cameron, might like to take a long hard look at all @StewartJacksonMP postings to date on Twitter? 

Equally giving Jackson, part of an Irish portfolio - even if he is married to an O'Grady - still gives him in our view based on his current conduct, very little in terms of gravitas, understanding and experience in dealing with the potential powderkeg that is still Northern Ireland. 

Hopefully he will never have to take a phone call coded warning from the infamous Col. Black coldly detailing where the next bomb in London is likely to explode, as was the case during the 197O's.  

The Duckhouse view is that Mr Stewart Jackson MP, the former Lloyds Bank Manager, and of little further commercial experience is simply not up to it in terms of stature, compassion or understanding of his role as an MP and as a servant and representative of the people. It's not a question of MP's expenses  but during this coalition administration, other factors come into play with savage cuts about to be announced and the mood of the electorate and UK population in general rapidly hardening, sadly Stewart Jackson MP STILL just does not get it.     


Additional reporting The Daily Telegraph

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