Lib Dem chief whip broke Parliamentary rules

by Stephen Tall on July 12, 2008

Paul Burstow, Lib Dem MP for Sutton & Cheam, has been criticised by the Parliamentary standards commissioner John Lyon for sending newsletters to constituents at taxpayers’ expense. The BBC has the full story here:

Chief whip Paul Burstow used pre-paid Commons envelopes to send the material attacking a Tory rival to voters in his Sutton and Cheam constituency. But Standards Commissioner John Lyon said the pre-paid service was not meant for party political campaigning. Mr Burstow has apologised and offered to repay the £1,500 postage costs. …

Mr Burstow said he had stopped the practice “as soon as I discovered what was happening”. He added: “The inquiry concluded it was a perfectly legitimate thing for me to do, but I should have been paying for it with one allowance rather than another. Mr Lyon is not taking this to the Standards and Privileges Committee. I think people should draw a conclusion from that.”