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Page last updated at 13:35 GMT, Monday, 30 March 2009 14:35 UK
Smith claims for porn on expenses

By Dave Howard
Newsbeat politics reporter

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Jacqui Smith was surrounded by press and photographers as she left her London home

Jacqui Smith has hit the headlines again, this time over revelations that she claimed expenses for two porn movies which her husband watched.

While the home secretary was at work, her other half ordered two pay-per-view adult films to watch at their Worcestershire home.

It's not illegal and it probably wouldn't even have come to light - except for the fact that the home secretary claimed for the films on her parliamentary expenses.

The money for MPs expenses comes out of our taxes.

She says it was a mistake and that she believed she was claiming for the cost of her internet access.

'Really sorry'

Her husband, whose name is Richard, has made a sheepish apology.

He told reporters: "I am really sorry for any embarrassment I have caused Jacqui. I can fully understand why people might be angry and offended by this."

The couple are paying the money back, as well as the cost of other pay-per-view films, like the George Clooney movie Oceans 13 and a cartoon feature called Surf's Up.

This is very much a personal matter for Jacqui. Her husband has made it clear that he has apologised
Prime Minister Gordon Brown

There'll probably also be some awkward discussions between husband and wife. People close to the pair have described her as "livid" and "mortified" about the whole affair.

The porn films cost £5 each and the whole TV package won't come to more than £100 but it's got a lot of people talking.

There have even been calls for the home secretary to resign but Gordon Brown's still supporting her.

Other expenses

"This is very much a personal matter for Jacqui," he said, adding: "Her husband has made it clear that he has apologised."

What makes this worse for Jacqui Smith is that she was already facing an expenses row after complaints about her claiming thousands of pounds in second home allowances, even though she lives with her sister as a lodger.

Other expense claims were for fixtures and fittings like a cooker, a widescreen TV and even a bath plug costing 88p.

She says she's working within the expenses system and she's done nothing wrong but this new row ratchets up pressure that was already in place.

The worry now is that she's becoming better known for her personal finances than for her work tackling crime or terror.



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