June 23, 2009

Chris Ruane's Expenses In Full (Well, Almost)

If you haven't had a sneaky look already, Vale of Clwyd MP Chris Ruane's expenses files are now open to public scrutiny online on the Parliament.uk website, with redactions. The events of the expenses scandal have been so fast-moving that heads must surely be spinning by now, but following further outrage at the blacking out of certain details on the published expenses files, the Telegraph has now lifted the lid again and today started publishing the expenses in all their uncensored glory.

We are publishing this on our blog because, well, somebody has to. At the time of writing, you will not find a link to Chris Ruane's expenses on his own website. In fact, he hasn't published anything on his website. We are currently sifting through his expense files to see if we can spot anything which would require further clarification, and we'll let you know if we find anything.

Thus far, we've managed to uncover that Chris used his expenses to pay for a self-promotional advertising board at Rhyl F.C. in July 2007 (see picture below), and an advert in their season programme. We've even found a picture of the advertising board online here. Was he right or wrong to claim for that? Is it wrong to use Parliamentary expenses, rather than Labour party funds, to pay for an advertising board? You let us know in the Comments section.

Commenting on the publication of MPs' expenses claims online with blackouts, Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg told the BBC that the way the receipts were published "damages public faith in what MPs do even more..."

He added, "we now need complete change, not just in the expenses regime but in the culture of secrecy that still prevails at the heart of Whitehall and Westminster."

If you've uncovered any interesting claims amongst Chris Ruane's expense files, please e-mail us at valeofclwydlibdems@googlemail.com and we will publish them on the blog. The Guardian are also asking for volunteers to investigate MPs' expenses claims, and you can help by following this link.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:04 pm

    Communications Allowance - pg 42 & pg 45 - incl 14,400 leaflets on 25th Feb (not long before local govt elections?) - http://mpsallowances.parliament.uk/mpslordsandoffices/hocallowances/allowances-by-mp/chris-ruane/Chris_Ruane_0708_CA.pdf

    Labour Party printing some egs - IEP allowance 05/06 - "campaigning" pg 53 & "party invitations" pg 149 - note check green book rules about whether political camapigning is permissable? http://mpsallowances.parliament.uk/mpslordsandoffices/hocallowances/allowances-by-mp/chris-ruane/Chris_Ruane_0506_IEP.pdf

    HoC postage and stationery costs - over 16,000 pre-paid envelopes (see in context of above points) - http://mpsallowances.parliament.uk/mpslordsandoffices/hocallowances/allowances-by-mp/stationery-and-postage/

    Canon SLR camera - IEP allowance 06/07 - pg 35 & pg 37 - Nearly £500 for a camera plus the previous camera on expenses (see below) http://mpsallowances.parliament.uk/mpslordsandoffices/hocallowances/allowances-by-mp/chris-ruane/Chris_Ruane_0607_IEP.pdf

    Digital Camera - pg 129 - IEP Allowance 04/05 - http://mpsallowances.parliament.uk/mpslordsandoffices/hocallowances/allowances-by-mp/chris-ruane/Chris_Ruane_0405_IEP.pdf

    Tried to claim further costs of £11K (stamp duty?) on purchase of flat from 05/06 in year 06/07 - pg 3 & pg 5 - (also mentioned by telegraph analysis on un-redacted expenses) http://mpsallowances.parliament.uk/mpslordsandoffices/hocallowances/allowances-by-mp/chris-ruane/Chris_Ruane_0506_ACA.pdf

    Anybody find anymore? Papers locally don't seem to be looking that hard compared to other MPs? Chris Ruanes Allowances (all links) - http://mpsallowances.parliament.uk/mpslordsandoffices/hocallowances/allowances-by-mp/chris-ruane/

    Why are his expenses so much higher than neighbouring MPs and one of the highest in Wales? Why do others seem to manage on less including neighbouring MPs who are ministers?