I have always been totally transparent in my commitment not to claim any second home allowance if I am elected MP. Today's Sunday Telegraph story on the anger of St Albans voters reflects the wave of revulsion I have personally experienced on the doorstep from people outraged at what the Daily Telegraph has revealed on Mrs Main's use of the Additional Cost Allowance. I have issued the following statement to the local newspapers:
LIB DEM PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATE PLEDGES NO SECOND HOME AT TAXPAYER EXPENSE
Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for St Albans Sandy Walkington has given a categorical assurance that if elected he would never have a second home at taxpayer expense, even if it is allowed under the rules. “I have always worked in London,” Sandy said. “I do not see that the Palace of Westminster is any more difficult to reach than the City of London, Victoria or Knightsbridge (all places to which I commuted on a daily basis). With the new “family friendly” hours, MPs often have shorter working hours than people who work in the City or have demanding managerial jobs.
“I would frequently come home after midnight – when I would simply charge my employers for taxis from the station to home! I might very occasionally claim for overnight hotel accommodation. That’s how people in the real world behave. “The idea that I should claim extra money for food is even more bizarre. Normal people pay for their own meals at home and at work unless they are travelling away from the office on official business.
Why should MPs be any different? “Every day I am meeting people on the doorstep who are really struggling financially. They are outraged by what they are seeing on their televisions and reading in their newspapers. “I am personally proud that of the seven Liberal Democrat MPs representing commuter belt constituencies, not one claims a second home allowance. Even David Howarth, LibDem MP for Cambridge, commutes daily on First Capital Connect alongside his constituents. They did not need the newspapers to tell them how to behave. “I am frankly saddened that the reputation of Parliament has been besmirched by the antics of a greedy few.”