Friday, May 22, 2009

The problem is jealousy?

This was a response from Tory MP Anthony Steen with respect to the allegation he had claimed £87,000 over the last four years from the taxpayer through MP expenses to help maintain his home. The BBC reports this here. An excerpt:

A Tory MP has apologised for a BBC interview in which he said critics of his expenses claims were simply "jealous" of his country house.

Anthony Steen, who the Daily Telegraph said had claimed more than £87,000 over four years for the home, admitted his remarks were "inappropriate". [. . .]

[. . .] In an interview with Radio 4's The World At One on Wednesday, Mr Steen suggested his critics were envious because he lived in a large house that resembled Royal residence Balmoral, and had trees in the grounds that needed lopping.

Shadow foreign secretary William Hague described Mr Steen's comments as "ridiculous".

Mr Steen later said he was "deeply upset" during the interview and over-reacted.

During the interview, the 69-year-old former barrister claimed ministers had "mucked up the system" by introducing the Freedom of Information Act. [. . .]

[. . .] He added: "What right does the public have to interfere with my private life? None."
However, in a statement on Thursday, he apologised for his comments.

Mr Steen said he had been "deeply upset with the situation which resulted in me overreacting".
He said: "I am sorry that in the heat of the moment I said inappropriate things that weren't as measured as I would have liked about the Freedom of Information Act, which I entirely support." [. . .]"

He will not be standing for re-election.

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