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15/12/09 :Labour attacks Rob Wilson's "broken promise" on expenses:

Reading East Tory MP Rob Wilson has made great public play of being clean about his expenses. On his website, he says that "In the interest of transparency and honesty, I detail all of my expenditure on 'Right To Know' forms - a Conservative Party initiative to restore trust in elected representatives."

But, Labour Party spokesperson Pete Ruhemann says, Mr Wilson goes on to give links to his expenses in 2005-6, 2006-7 and 2007-8 and to say that information for 2008-9 "will be published shortly". But 2008-9 finished on 31 March, this part of the website was last updated on 18 June, presumably with that commitment, and now, six months later, the details for 2008-9 have still to appear: a peculiar version of 'shortly'!

It's not just that broken promise which is troubling the Labour Party. Mr Wilson having just put out a Parliamentary Report, they are also wondering whether he paid Reading East Conservative Association to distribute it!

"That's what he's done with previous Annual Reports," Pete Ruhemann says, "and the income is duly recorded in the Association's accounts.

That seems to me to be subsidising a political party from public funds, as does Mr Wilson paying the Council Tax on the Association's office in South View Park. I think the new Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority should consider whether these sort of payments of taxpayers' money to a political party are really in order, and in the New Year I will be asking them to do so."

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Promoted by Peter Ruhemann, Media Officer, on behalf of Reading & District Labour Party, c/o 3 Windsor Square, Silver Street, Reading RG1 2TH