Friday, 29 May 2009

Elliot Morley's decision to step down at the next General Election

Dr. Caroline Johnson reacts to Scunthorpe MPs decision to stand-down

Former minister Elliot Morley, Member of Parliament for Scunthorpe, has announced he will stand down at the next general election over his involvement in the expenses scandal. Mr Morley made the announcement after meeting with local Labour Party officials in his Scunthorpe constituency. The former agriculture minister has already been suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party over the allegations and referred to the party's disciplinary panel.

Mr Morley claimed for mortgage interest payments totalling £16,000 - 18 months after the mortgage was paid off. He has apologised and repaid the money, blaming 'sloppy accounting'. Mr Morley said the pressure had been affecting his family and his health and insisted the decision was his own, made after consultation with his family and constituency officers.

In a statement he said:
"The last two weeks have been traumatic for me and I have to think of my family and my health, both of which have suffered.

"Nor do I want in any way to undermine the strong position the Labour Party has in this constituency in what will be a crucial election."


Mr Morley added that he had made a 'genuine mistake' and insisted that he believed he would be cleared of any wrong-doing.

The Daily Telegraph also alleged that Mr Morley rented out a London flat designated as his main residence to another Labour MP, Ian Cawsey, a close friend and former special adviser.

Mr Morley has denied any wrongdoing and said he used the money from his Labour colleague to reduce his claim to the taxpayer.

Caroline Johnson, Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Scunthorpe said that she was "happy" that he would be standing down at the next election.

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