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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 July, 2005, 14:16 GMT 15:16 UK
Ex-Tory MP 'deplored' by watchdog
Jonathan Sayeed
Mr Sayeed has apologised again
Ex-MP Jonathan Sayeed has been rebuked by Parliament's standards watchdog for improperly claiming housing allowances.

The Commons Standards and Privileges Committee said it "deplored" Mr Sayeed for failing to ensure the cash claims were correct.

Mr Sayeed stood down at the election on health grounds as Conservative MP for Mid-Bedfordshire after claims he profited from tours of Parliament.

The ex-MP has apologised but says there was no attempt to deceive anybody.

The committee said if he had still been an MP it would have considered suspending him from the Commons - as he had been over the tours of Parliament issue.

'No police inquiry'

Mr Sayeed has now paid back 16,613 which was claimed for his Bedfordshire home - the money is allocated for London expenses only.

Parliamentary standards commissioner Sir Philip took "informal legal soundings" on whether to refer the issue to police, according to the committee report.

But legal advice had concluded that the facts "did not show evidence of dishonesty" and so there were no grounds for the police to become involved.

In a memo to the committee, Mr Sayeed said: "There was no attempt to deceive and this is evidenced by the fact that most of the incorrect invoices clearly showed the property they referred to.

"The consistent error occurred because of the way expense claims were handled in my office.

"I am responsible for my office and its actions as well as those of myself.

"I did not exercise sufficient care but in the commissioner's own words 'the facts which have come to light do not reveal evidence of such dishonesty'.

"I reiterate my unreserved apology for inadvertent but incorrect Additional Cost Allowance claims."


SEE ALSO:
Tour row MP loses Tory party whip
18 Mar 05 |  UK Politics
Sayeed to stand down as Tory MP
14 Mar 05 |  UK Politics
Commons suspends Tory MP Sayeed
08 Feb 05 |  UK Politics
Tory MP awaits standards inquiry
02 Feb 05 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Jonathan Sayeed
21 Oct 02 |  Politics


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