A former Labour Minister who used £60,000 of taxpayers’ money to pay for his parents’ home faces public disgrace after an official inquiry found him guilty of abusing his Commons expenses.
A report into Labour MP Tony McNulty’s conduct by Parliament’s sleaze watchdog, due to be published this week, criticises him for claiming £14,000 a year for a ‘second home’ which was in fact his parents’ main home.
Insiders say he is likely to be forced to make a grovelling apology to the Commons. Some say his offence is so grave he may be suspended from Parliament and could even be ordered to pay back some or all of the cash.
He will also come under pressure by Labour chiefs to resign as MP for Harrow East in the hope that the party can hold on to the seat at the next General Election. Mr McNulty secured a 4,730 majority in 2005.
The former Employment Minister claimed the expenses under rules intended to help MPs fund a second home if they have to travel a long way to Westminster from their constituency. Yet the semi-detached home in Harrow, where Mr McNulty’s parents James and Eileen live, is just 11 miles from Westminster.
Mr McNulty lives with his wife Christine Gilbert, the £225,0000-a-year head of the schools’ inspectorate Ofsted, at their ‘main home’ in Hammersmith, West London, itself only three miles from the Commons. The couple have a combined income of more than £300,000 a year.