British in Uproar Over Bizarre MP Expenses

Ministers charged taxpayers for maids, x-rated movies, cat food

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted May 9, 2009 9:43 AM CDT

(Newser) – Britain is up in arms today over a series of outrageous and in many cases ridiculous expense account charges from some members of the government. The expense reports were leaked to the Daily Telegraph, which yesterday revealed, that Gordon Brown had paid his brother $9,800 for housecleaning services and that other cabinet ministers had expensed the likes of x-rated movies, cat food, pool maintenance, horse manure, hanging plant baskets, and toilet seats.

“The rules are being stretched to the absolute limit,” says former MP Alistair Graham. Today the paper revealed that tourism minister Barbara Follett, wife of thriller-writer Ken Follett, had spent $38,000 for security patrols, while a health minister had spent $56,000 on refurbishing his two-bedroom flat in London. Distraught parliamentary authorities called the police in today to investigate the leak, with some accusing the Telegraph of illegally obtaining the reports.

Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown rubs his eye as he speaks at a school in south London, Tuesday May 5, 2009 in London.
Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown rubs his eye as he speaks at a school in south London, Tuesday May 5, 2009 in London.   (AP Photo/Peter Macdiarmid, pool)
Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown attempts to control his unruly hair,  during a ceremony to unveil a memorial to murdered police officer Sharon Beshenivsky in Bradford, England, May 8, 2009.
Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown attempts to control his unruly hair, during a ceremony to unveil a memorial to murdered police officer Sharon Beshenivsky in Bradford, England, May 8, 2009.   (AP Photos/John Giles-pa)
Secretary of State for Justice, Jack Straw arrives in Downing Street for a cabinet meeting on December 2, 2008 in London.
Secretary of State for Justice, Jack Straw arrives in Downing Street for a cabinet meeting on December 2, 2008 in London.   (Getty Images)
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