David Laws, Liam Fox and now Maria Miller – all in it together

Who do they think they are?

Carol Irving, single mother of 4, unemployed. Failed to declare she was living with a partner. Over-claimed £40,000 in Housing benefit = 6 months in jail. 

David Laws MP single, multimillionaire. Failed to declare he was living with a partner, over-claimed £40,000 in Parliamentary Allowances = invited to rejoin government after 18 months on back benches.

Government Minister, Maria Miller, over claimed her housing expenses by £45,000 but only has to pay back £5,800 and say ‘sorry’.

And then we have:

Liam Fox abused the post of Defence secretary by taking his business ‘associate’ and lobbyist Adam Werrity to  accompany him on foreign visits and meetings with political leaders, diplomats and defence contractors.  He also used his position to promote the right-wing Atlantic Bridge “charity” with links to the more barmy and sinister right-wing of the Republican Party and “Tea Party” in the US. It seems he also ran a clandestine pro Israel foreign policy*.

Last year, the Conservative MP had to repay £3,000 of expenses after it was found he had allowed his friend Adam Werritty to live at his taxpayer-funded second home for a year rent-free.

Let’s also remember that Liam Fox, who is so keen on cutting benefits to hard working but low paid tax payers,  was caught over claiming £22.5k mortgage payments and £19k mobile phone costs from those same tax payers.  If a benefits claimant had been caught doing this they would be in jail.

He was also criticised for allowing their Atlantic Bridge think tank to be run from his parliamentary offices.

Liam Fox had to resign as Defence Secretary (avoiding further scrutiny) and his Atlantic Bridge “charity” was closed down in 2011 because it contravened charity laws.

Liam Fox’s Atlantic Bridge linked top Tories and Tea Party activists. Officially it was a charity; in fact, Fox’s thinktank was a meeting place for the movers and shakers of the right wing. (Guardian, 15th Oct 2011)

The lessons of Atlantic Bridge. Questioning exposed a network of rightwing politicians and lobbyists. We need openness on how the rich shape politics (Guardian 16th Oct 2011)

Malign power of men who peddle influence (Daily Mail, 17th Oct 2011)

*Liam Fox, Adam Werritty, and the curious case of Our Man in Tel Aviv (Independent, 27th Nov 2011)

UPDATE: Yep: “One law for the rich and a very different one for the poor” Adam Werritty – former adviser to Liam Fox MP – won’t face fraud charge > No, you have to be on benefits for that to happen:  Adam Werritty fraud investigation dropped over insufficient evidence