Our local MP, Ian Taylor, announced his resignation this week. Inevitably the local press immediately made a link with the expenses scandal. Ian Taylor says his decision was nothing to do with expenses. He had decided that as Gordon Brown was obviously planning to hold out until the last minute before holding an election, it was time for him to go.
I’m prepared to take Ian’s comments at face value. He is well respected for working hard for his constituents. He was criticised for having a flat in London as well as a house in Surrey but that was acceptable under the old rules. What he has done is far removed from those MPs who made claims for expenses they hadn’t actually incurred. They have committed acts that seem to me close to fraud. That’s different to claiming for what you were entitled to. We may not like the old rules – and frankly I do not like them but at least it looks like they are going to be changed.
I could not agree with Ian Taylor’s views on Europe. But he has defended his views on further integration and on joining the Euro honestly and openly. You always knew where you stood with him, even if you disagreed. For that he deserves credit.