Labour frontbencher Abena Oppong-Asare billed TAXPAYERS for £55 fine
Labour frontbencher Abena Oppong-Asare faces calls to resign after she billed TAXPAYERS for a £55 parking fine
- Tories have called on Sir Keir Starmer to ‘show some leadership’ and sack the MP
A Labour frontbencher is facing calls to resign after she billed taxpayers for a £55 parking fine.
Shadow treasury minister Abena Oppong-Asare claimed the ticket on expenses after she overran at a constituency surgery.
The scandal prompted the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) to change its processes following a review.
Tories have called on Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer to ‘show some leadership’ and sack Ms Oppong-Asare.
Sir Iain Duncan Smith said: ‘If Starmer doesn’t get rid of her, then taxpayers beware.
Shadow treasury minister Abena Oppong-Asare claimed the ticket on expenses after she overran at a constituency surgery
‘What a ridiculous claim. Why was she allowed to claim it? It shows that they have a misplaced sense of entitlement.’ Ms Oppong-Asare only paid the fine after being contact by the Independent which uncovered the payment.
Labour claimed it was an ‘administrative error’ by a staff member but Sir Alistair Graham, the former chairman of the committee on standards in public life, dismissed her behaviour as ‘sloppy’.
He said the public ‘should not have to rely on The Independent to protect the public finances’.
The expenses watchdog said: ‘MPs and their staff are not allowed to claim for penalty charges and fines under IPSA rules.’ It said the rule was ‘clearly stated’ in its code of conduct for MPs and it has ‘changed our process to ensure any future such claims are not paid’.
IPSA is bringing in a fresh crackdown on such claims in the wake of the revelation, writing to MPs and launching a review of past claims with enhanced checks brought in.
Ms Oppong-Asare’s parking ticket claim in March was submitted as a ‘staff travel’ expense.
She claimed a ‘distressed constituent’ saw her overrun at a surgery and a member of staff then submitted the claim without her knowledge.
Tories have called on Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer to ‘show some leadership’ and sack Ms Oppong-Asare
Ms Oppong-Asare’s parking ticket claim in March was submitted as a ‘staff travel’ expense
But Tory MP Henry Smith hit out at the claim. He said: ‘Clearly a parking penalty notice is not a legitimate business expense by anyone’s standard and especially not a shadow frontbench spokesperson.
‘It seems like more Labour double standards; their attitude of impunity is appalling, Starmer should show leadership and sack the individual concerned.’
Sir Iain added: ‘If you make such a claim on hardworking taxpayers, it tells you all you need to know about the way they will govern.’ Labour earlier hit out when Tory MPs were found to have put through expenses for parking fines.
Frontbencher Thangam Debbonaire said at the time: ‘Tory MPs flouting the rules damages public confidence in the system.’ But the party refused to say if such comments applied to Ms Oppong-Asare.
A spokesman for the expenses watchdog said: ‘IPSA’s checks failed in this case to identify that the claim was not allowed. It has now been repaid.
‘We have changed our process to ensure any future such claims are not paid.’
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