Page last updated at 16:11 GMT, Saturday, 3 April 2010 17:11 UK

Shahid Malik cleared of abusing office expenses

Shahid Malik
Shahid Malik has been cleared of abusing office expenses

Labour minister Shahid Malik said he was "incredibly relieved but not surprised" at being cleared of abusing expenses over office expenditure.

Parliamentary Standards Commissioner John Lyon had launched an inquiry into Mr Malik's claims for office expenses at his home and at a Dewsbury address.

Mr Lyon said the arrangements for a second constituency office were "within the rules of the House".

Mr Malik has previously repaid about £1,300 in other expense claims.

His appeal against a ruling ordering this repayment, relating to a claim for a TV and an armchair, was rejected.

In a recent letter sent by Mr Lyon to a member of the public who complained about the Dewsbury MP's office claims, Mr Lyon wrote: "The second constituency office was established and used for Parliamentary purposes and Mr Malik was charged, and claimed for, a fair market rent, from which there is no evidence that he received a personal benefit. I do not therefore uphold this complaint."

'Nightmare'

It emerged last June that Mr Malik was using Commons allowances to pay rent for office space on the ground floor of his home in Dewsbury in addition to his separate, main constituency office.

This came days after he was cleared in a separate probe into allegations he had breached the ministerial code of conduct.

Mr Malik said the ruling was the end of a "12-month nightmare".

He added: "I have now been cleared of breaching the ministerial code of conduct by the ministerial standards adviser Sir Philip Mawer, cleared of any abuse of expenses by a parliamentary review conducted by the Department of Resources, and now finally cleared of abusing office expenses by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards John Lyon.

"The tragedy is that politically motivated complaints have to be investigated and as such they do cause profound hurt and anxiety, especially to the families of innocent MPs as well as greatly damage their reputation."



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