British lawmaker quits post amid expenses claim probe
Fri, Nov 20, 2009

LONDON - A British lawmaker, charged with probing expense claims of colleagues, quit his position as a newspaper Friday raised allegations about his own expenses worth thousands of pounds.

Opposition lawmaker David Curry claimed almost 30,000 pounds (S$69,385) from the public purse for the cost of running a second home that he was barred from using, according to the Daily Telegraph on Friday.

Curry, from the Conservatives, stood down as head of the House of Commons committee charged with policing lawmakers' expenses late Thursday, and now faces a formal inquiry into the allegations.

"I used the cottage to carry out my duties as a constituency MP (member of parliament) and am content with my arrangements," he said in a statement.

"However, given the particular responsibilities of the chairman of the Committee of Standards and Privileges, I shall refer my case to the Commissioner on Parliamentary Standards John Lyon and will stand down from the chairmanship during the course of his inquiries," he said.

The newspaper said Curry's wife had barred him from using the cottage as a condition of their marital reconciliation.

The long-running expenses scandal has rocked British politics, sparked a wave of resignations of lawmakers and forced Prime Minister Gordon Brown to announce an overhaul of the system.

The newspaper published a series of leaks earlier this year showing lawmakers had claimed for everything from a duck house to cleaning a moat at a country home, sparking public outrage as Britain struggled through a recession.



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