Saturday, December 19, 2009

Djanogly replies to my e-mail

On my doormat when I got home was a letter from my MP Jonathan Djanogly. I've published the letter below. A bad copy of the letter is available in pdf format here. I've taken off my address and the signature of J. Djanogly. This is a reply to the e-mail I sent to Djanogly about his recently published expenses. His reply is as follows:
Dear Mr. Gadenne,

I acknowledge receipt of your email of 10 December concerning the Additional Costs Allowance (ACA) claims relating to my second home.

I note that you have made points in relation to utilities and repairs concerning this property.

I do fully support transparency and the public having access to the invoices that have been submitted to back up ACA second home claims. It is up to you to take a view as to whether you personally find these claims acceptable. 

It is not however, up to you to audit these claims. For an individual to be permitted to audit the claims of a single MP in isolation, is simply unworkable. For some people, my utility bills would be less than they claim and for others they would be more than they claim.

However, I can confirm that all of the items that were mentioned in your letter were approved by the Parliamentary Fees Office. Moreover, you will be pleased to know that all of the items listed in your letter have also been cleared by the audit conducted by Sir Thomas Legg.

I was very pleased that the independent ACA audit took place, not least because it provided me (and indeed constituents like you), with the comfort that all of the invoiced tendered by MPs have been reviewed independently of the Fees Office (whose judgement some had called into account) and on the basis that all MPs would be audited according to the same guidelines.

The questions that you ask in your letter are, I would accordingly suggest, questions concerning the guidelines used by the Legg audit, and you may wish to address these to Sir Thomas Legg.
Yours sincerely,

Jonathan Djanogly
My reply to Jonathan Djanogly MP.


I am one of your constituents and electors and I have asked you a series of questions about your recently published expenses. I cannot take a view on your claims without asking questions about these invoices. Transparency is not just publishing information. Transparency is also about being able to hold my MP to account for his claims. This is because you, as an MP, are claiming taxpayers money to pay for extra expenses you incur to represent the Huntingdon constituency at Parliament. By saying the claims have been passed by the Fees office and Legg is just going back to the bad old ways and a diversionary tactic

It seems to me that "Parliamentary transparency" suddenly stops when a constituent starts asking you awkward questions! You seemed very happy for your fellow Conservatives to scrutinise your past expenses but not your own constituents.

As I can only go on your invoices and you will not answer my questions, I can only find your claims for utility bills are wrong. The reason I find this is that you have stated your family spends 4 days a week at your London home and 3 days a week at your second home in Alconbury. Therefore you pay for 4 days of utilities in London and the other 3 days of utility bills are paid for by the taxpayer

There are many of your constituents who would like this cosy arrangement!


As I said before I doubted that Djanogly would answer my questions and he didn't.

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