Anorak News | Former Labour Minister Claimed For Non Existent Mortgage

Former Labour Minister Claimed For Non Existent Mortgage

by | 14th, May 2009

morleyELLIOT MORLEY is today’s Swine Fever-infected MP. The Telegraph claims the former minister Elliot Morley claimed £16,000 for a mortgage that did not exist.

It is reported that Morley, Fisheries Minister from 1997 to 2003 and Minister for Environment and Agri-Environment in DEFRA Former minister, continued to claim mortgage interest for 18 months after the loan had been repaid.

Says Morley:

“I do not believe any offence has been committed. I have reported this to the finance department and chief whip. I have made a mistake, I apologise for that and I take full responsibility. My priority was to repay and if I suffer financially as a result of that, I have only myself to blame.”

Cynicism comes easily to journalists, but financial expertise does not. Your writer has spent a year trying to cancel a Barclaycard without success.

What also comes easily to journalists is the ability to speculate and construct a judgement from someone’s looks or a feeling:

Sky’s chief political correspondent Jon Craig said: “Most people regard Elliot Morley as a most unlikely MP to get caught up in a sleaze scandal.

“He is a big bear of a man, a cuddly figure, well-known for his love of bird watching.”

The Telegraph’s Holly Watt states:

A campaigner for action against climate change, he once said he would travel 300 miles to see a rare bird.

The facts keep coming, but beneath the veneer of sleaze lurks hints of other stories.

John Maples, Tory deputy chairman with responsibility for candidates, declared his private members’ club as his main home, allowing him to spend money on his second home.

Married Tory lives in his private club! Maples is married to Jane Corbin, a journalist – a fact not mentioned in the, er, papers.

But Mr Maples told Sky News that he only stayed at the club for a month after selling his London home and that the Fees Office had told him it was acceptable.


Stephen Crabbe, designated a rented room in a flat rented by another MP as his main home after buying a new house and claiming £9,300 in stamp duty.

Tory lives with mystery man!

But, perhaps, the most damning:

Fabian Hamilton, overclaimed for his mortgage while living with his mother.

The MP for Leeds North East designated his mother’s London house as his main residence while claiming thousands of pounds for a mortgage on his family home in Leeds, according to the paper. Mr Hamilton said he spent the majority of his time in the house owned by his mother, a retired judge, until her death in 2005.

Hamilton has a sympathetic back story:

I spent the majority of my time in London with my mother before her death, paying a substantial sum of money from my own pocket for the upkeep of the house.

“After her death, I moved my main home to Yorkshire because that is where my wife and children were…

“The mortgage claims were quite an accident. I didn’t realise I was claiming until the fees office pointed it out. It was an oversight on my part and I offered to pay it back.”

It being, no doubt, what his dear old mum would have wanted…

Posted: 14th, May 2009 | In: Politicians Comments (2) | TrackBack | Permalink