For some reason Ilford North parliamentary constituency has a rather high percentage of resident Taxi drivers. There are three in the road where I live but for years I could never find one to take me home late at night. This is because I got off the tube at Gants Hill where the taxi rank was always empty not knowing that all the cabs were round the corner in Cranbrook Road outside Faeces nightclub.
In 1997 the sitting MP Vivian Bendall had a barney with challenger, and winner, Linda Perham over who knew most about "the knowledge" – all a bit redundant now that Range Rover man has got Satnav.
Anyway to the point. Brian Coleman, Conservative London Assembly member is reported to have racked up £8 grand in expenses on taxis despite also claiming £1,700 for a travel card. At least one local leading Tory is spitting blood. Contrast with our own Assembly Member, Roger Evans, who likes to walk, does not own a car and uses public transport.
Today is also the day when Conservative MPs get to have their expenses exposed to the great unwashed. Seven have missed the deadline. Our own MP, Lee Scott, has always been up front on this, but if you want to see the details they are here. The PDF file is for MPs R-Z so you will need to scroll down a bit or use the search binoculars.
There are already comments on the blogosphere about MPs "giving their wives pay outs of between thirty and forty thousand pounds a year". It is true that Mrs Scott is Lee’s secretary, which we knew before he was elected, but not at those rates and provided a spouse is qualified and does the job, what’s wrong with that? Lee also takes the tube to work but it would appear that unlike Mr Coleman he is not eligible for a free travel card.