Shipley MP's call to colleagues

Read it on the Telegraph and Argus

By Anika Bourley

A Bradford MP has called for colleagues to stop"bellyaching" over proposed changes to the discredited parliamentary expenses system if public trust is to be restored.

Shipley MP Philip Davies (Con) said MPs had forfeited their right to complain over any suggested changes after large scale abuses of the system were uncovered earlier this year.

Sir Christopher Kelly, who was appointed by Gordon Brown, to come up with a new set of rules for allowances unveiled his recommendations to curb excessive claims yesterday.

Mr Brown and David Cameron urged their parties to accept them.

It will be down to a new body, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa), to draw up a plan for a"fair and effective" expenses system based on the recommendations next month, for implementation in the spring following a brief consultation.

Mr Davies said: "MPs have forfeited their right to decide because of their actions. It is restoring public faith in Parliament and it is more important than any individual MP's circumstances. I have no sympathy for MPs' bellyaching."

Bradford South MP and Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe said he wanted public trust in Parliament restored.

Mr Sutcliffe said: "We all want change given what has happened with the expenses claims in the past but we must look carefully at the proposals and make sure we do not go so far that only rich people can become MPs."

Bradford North MP Terry Rooney (Lab) said: "The public has to be convinced change is happening considering what some people were up to. But I think it will take more than this.

"I am not sure the proposals are right about MPs employing family members, I do not and never would, but if any other employer got rid of 200 or so people, there would be outrage."

Retiring Keighley MP Ann Cryer (Lab) will be given her grant under the current formula based on age and length of service, estimated at £32,000, when she stands down age 70 next year.

Bradford West MP Marsha Singh (Lab) was unavailable to comment.