How many ways can you say i got caught with my hand in the till so i'm resigning/being sacked in shame? With the rash of MP's being deselected or ordered to remove themselves from whichever political party they belong to, we have had some corking excuses from politicians lately, strangely, none of which seem to mention how they have been forced out after getting caught fiddling their expenses.
Nicholas & Ann Winterton, (claimed over £80,000 in rent for a flat that was owned by a trust controlled by their children) are actually resigning because of 'the hectic pace of political life and wanted to spend more time with the family'.
Douglas Hogg (claimed £2,000 for the moat around his estate to be cleared) is leaving because it was "time to select a new candidate to best represent local and national interests.'
Ben Chapman,(over-claimed payments for interest on the mortgage of his house by £15,000) is calling it a day because 'The publicity has been hurtful to my family, friends and local party members.'
Ian McCartney (claimed more than £16,000 for furniture) is off because 'My family have taken the brunt of the worry over my health.'
Andrew MacKay (double flipped his home with fellow MP Julie Kirkbride to claim double allowances) fell on his sword because 'I believe I could be a distraction at a time when David Cameron is working to get elected as prime minister'.
Julie Kirkbride (Double flipped with her husband & employed sister as her secretary despite her living 140 miles) is going because 'I must take into account the effects on my family.'
Margaret Moran (Claimed tens of thousands on decorating, repairing and furnishing 3 separate properties, switching between them in turn) is resigning because the scandal was "having a bruising effect upon my friends, my family and my health'.
Christopher Fraser (claimed £1,800 in expenses for 215 trees and fencing to surround his second home) explained that "My wife's health problems and the operation that she had last year have made it difficult to juggle my family life with my duties as an MP'.
Elliot Morley (claimed £800 a month for 18 months after his mortgage ended) is actually going because 'The last two weeks have been traumatic for me and I have to think of my family and my health, both of which have suffered.'
Jacqui Smith (designated her sister's home as her main home and claimed 2 porn films on expenses) is going because it is the "right thing for her family".
David Chaytor (claimed £13,000 for a mortgage that he had already paid off) is leaving his job because "I do not want my problems to be a distraction to my party's campaign as we move towards the general election.'
Beverly Hughes (claimed thousands for furniture) is off because of "a number of personal and family issues'.
Hazel Blears (claimed for 3 properties, flipped her homes in London 3 times in one year to avoid paying capital gains tax) citing a desire to "return to the grassroots, to political activism, and to the cut and thrust of political debate'.
My favourite has to be Anthony Steen who made a brave defence of his claim for over £87,000 for rabbit fencing, tree surgery, woodland consultants and bore hole maintenance. "I've done nothing criminal, that's the most awful thing, and do you know what it's about? Jealousy. I've got a very, very large house. Some people say it looks like Balmoral. As far as I am concerned and as of this day I don't know what the fuss is about. What right does the public have to interfere with my private life? None."