UK Expenses Scandal Hits Alistair Darling
Govt's No. 2 claimed 2 houses at same time, may be demoted
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2009 6:52 AM CDT
Alistair Darling, chancellor, holds his ministerial briefcase as he leaves 11 Downing Street to deliver the annual budget to the House of Commons, London, Wednesday, April 22, 2009.    (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
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(Newser) – Britain's ongoing political expenses scandal reached all the way to the second-highest post in government today, after the Telegraph broke news that Chancellor Alistair Darling reportedly expensed the service charge on a South London apartment he was renting out while also claiming allowances on his Downing Street house. Though he denies the allegation, Darling this morning agreed to pay back about $1,500; speculation is growing that he will be demoted in a government reshuffle as soon as Friday.

Earlier the Telegraph disclosed that Darling, who as chancellor is responsible for the country's finances, used an accountant to file his own taxes and expensed the cost. Opposition politicians have accused Darling of lacking moral authority and have called for him to go. This morning Gordon Brown insisted that "this set of allegations has no foundation in it"—only minutes before Darling agreed to reimburse the taxpayer.