Tuesday, 2 June 2009

The Devine Comedy: Or How he may not face GE Vote

The news this morning is that Jim Devine who replaced Robin Cook in the October 2005 Livingston By Election may become infamous as the MP who never faced a General Election vote.

Labour's National Executive's special endorsements panel is to 'urgently' review the former constituency agents expenses following the emergence of his submission of a claim to pay for work for a company that never existed. The £2,157 rewiring bill for his London address had an invalid postcode and VAT number. The Devine comedy defence was:

"As an MP do I have to check the VAT numbers of every company I use? What it sounds like is the guy has been trying to avoid paying the proper tax. That is what it looks like happened here and that's hardly my fault. I haven't done anything wrong."

Er I would have thought that anyone in the public eye especially a legislator would at least carry out some background check before paying, and I can only assume I assume case in hand, for such work. The work was apparently on the recommendation of a friend. We all know about friends of a friend. Apparently not the Livingston MP.

There is also a bill for £2,326 for joinery work, including 66 metres of shelving, for his constituency office. The name on that receipt was in the name of Tony Moran, who also happens to the licensee of a local pub. Devine comedy response 2:

"Tony Moran did no work for me in my office."

Then why is his name on the invoice submitted to the fees office for said work?

Of course there is also the fact that he claimed £4000 for the furniture which he purchased from Michael Connarty when he purchased Connarty's flat. Furniture that the tax payers ahd already paid for was being paid for again as were the replacements for Connarty.

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