DEWSBURY MP Shahid Malik has said he is ‘incredibly relieved but not surprised’ to be cleared of abusing the Parliamentary expenses system.
John Lyon, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, launched an inquiry last year into complaints over Mr Malik’s claim for office expenses at his home, as well as at another address in his constituency.
Mr Malik yesterday said Mr Lyon had ruled that his arrangements for a second constituency office were ‘within the rules of the House’ and would not be referring the complaint to the Commons Standards and Privileges Committee. The news that Mr Malik was using Commons allowances to pay rent for office space on the ground floor of his home in Dewsbury in addition to his separate, main constituency office, emerged last June just days after he was cleared in a separate probe into allegations he had breached the ministerial code of conduct.
Mr Malik said: “I have now been cleared of breaching the ministerial code of conduct by the ministerial standards adviser Sir Philip Mawer, cleared of any abuse of expenses by a parliamentary review conducted by the Department of Resources, and now finally cleared of abusing office expenses by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards John Lyon.
“The outcome represents the end of a 12-month nightmare and I would like to thank all those family, friends and constituents who have stood by me and kept the faith – we have today all been vindicated.”
The communities minister added: “The tragedy is that politically motivated complaints have to be investigated and as such they do cause profound hurt and anxiety, especially to the families of innocent MPs, as well as greatly damage their reputation.
“I am just incredibly relieved that after an extremely thorough 10-month investigation my good name and reputation is intact and that I have been given a very timely complete clean bill of health. My office arrangements have been deemed ‘not just within the rules, but also within the spirit of the rules’.”