Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Kelly's Report is no surprise - and Levitt survives (for now)

Today was the official launch of the report by Sir Christopher Kelly into MPs' expenses. After the leaks last week, there are few surprises from what we already knew.

What has been clarified is that the changes will be phased in over the next five years. So they will only affect Tom (& Teresa) Levitt if Tom manages to retain his seat at the next election - something which we imagine not even he will be banking on (if you pardon the pun).

In addition, there is some clarity regarding capital gains tax. In future, any gains have to be refunded to the exchequer - so Levitt at last learns about that which he had sought clarification back in May in Parliament. Whatever profit Levitt has made through his 'legal tax dodge', he gets to keep.

Back in his constituency, we understand Levitt faced more anger and discontent at last Friday's Constituency Labour Party meeting. Despite the rising discontent, we understand that Labour Party rules do not allow the local Party to deselect Levitt as the candidate in the next election due to the proximity of the General Election.

Whether or not anyone in the local Party will campaign for him next year is another matter.

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