David Cameron last night pledged to repay thousands of pounds in expenses if his own 'fraudbusters' condemned his mortgage claims.David Cameron 'ready to repay suspect mortgage' | Mail Online
The Tory leader vowed to submit to the ruling of the party's internal scrutiny panel after questions were raised about his use of taxpayer-funded allowances.
He made the promise after being dragged personally into the 'snouts in the trough' MPs' expenses scandal.
It emerged that Mr Cameron paid off the remaining £75,000 of a mortgage on his London home using his own money in 2001, shortly after taking out a £350,000 mortgage on his large constituency home in Witney, Oxfordshire.
He used the second homes allowance to pay the interest on the new mortgage.
But mortgage experts say if he had kept the loan on his London home and borrowed £75,000 less on his second home, he would have saved taxpayers more than £22,000.
Mr Cameron has taken a tough line on MPs who have abused allowances - calling for the 'full force of the law' to be deployed against them.
He insisted his claims had been 'reasonable' but pledged to face the scrutiny panel like other Tory MPs.
He told Channel 4 News: 'I obviously will abide by anything the scrutiny panel that I've established and set up.
'My scrutiny panel is not like the House of Commons. It doesn't just go through and say, what were the rules at the time. It's actually trying to ask a deeper question, which is what is reasonable and what is right.'
In a statement earlier the Tories said taxpayers had not lost any money. It said: 'If he had paid £75,000 toward Oxon it would not have been cheaper for the taxpayer, as that mortgage is far higher than the amount he was able to claim for - particularly in 2001, when the amount you were able to claim for was much lower.'
But Labour MP John Mann - who has spearheaded calls for a clean-up of MPs' expenses - said: 'People will find it hard to believe that Mr Cameron's decision to arrange his finances so that all of his mortgage debt was on a property funded by parliamentary allowances meant no extra cost to the taxpayer, as compared to continuing to share the debt between two properties.
'It may be embarrassing for him to volunteer to go through his own scrutiny process, but simply appearing before an in-house panel that answers directly to him isn't going to convince anyone and wouldn't be good enough.'
Sunday, May 31, 2009
David Cameron 'ready to repay suspect mortgage' | Mail Online
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