UK Minister Resigns in Expense Flap
1st MP to step down says he acted '1 million percent by the book'
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2009 12:13 PM CDT
Shahid Malik, Britain's justice minister is seen in a 2007 photo. Malik has claimed thousands of pounds in taxpayer allowances on his second home while renting his main home.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Britain’s justice minister resigned today amid a furor over a sketchy rental agreement, the first MP to do so following the revelation of excessive expenses charged by members of parliament to taxpayers, the Telegraph reports. Prime Minister Gordon Brown launched an investigation into whether Shahid Malik breached conduct codes in securing a lease at well below market rates in his home district, then using housing allowances to fix up his London pad.

“I spoke with the Prime Minister this morning,” Malik said in a statement, “and we agreed that the best way forward in the face of this specific allegation was for me to step to one side as an interim measure.” Earlier, Malik refused to pay back any of the claims, calling his $1,100 charge for a massage chair a “legitimate expenditure” and saying he acted “one million percent by the book.”