Snipe - The Scoop

Friday, 5 June 2009

Boris Johnson's Deputy caught in credit card row

One of Boris Johnson's Deputy Mayors has had his GLA credit card confiscated after it was found that he had used it to buy "groceries, meals and a car CD player"

According to a statement issued to Dave Hill,

"The investigation established that there were items on the bills that were not related to GLA business. The card had been used on a limited number of occasions to purchase personal items. On every occasion the expenditure had been repaid at the earliest opportunity and it was firmly established that there was no personal gain on any occasion."

However analysis of GLA audit reports, shows that Clement claimed more in 'other expenses' than any other senior member of staff.

Between last July and January of this year Clement claimed £3785 on top of separate claims for foreign and domestic travel.

As leader of Bexley Council, Clement was  heavily criticised for charging a £7000 junket to the taxpayer.

Earlier this week Boris himself was criticised for being the joint biggest claimant of the additional claims allowance, as an MP.

In a statement today the Mayor said that:

"Openess, transparency and taxpayer value are at the heart of my administration. I take very seriously indeed any behaviour that could potentially raise questions about that firm commitment."

Which makes you wonder why he has decided to reappoint Brian Coleman? What kind of commitment to taxpayer value was that?

10 comments:

Chris said...

There is something's a bit fishy about this:

"On every occasion the expenditure had been repaid at the earliest opportunity and it was firmly established that there was no personal gain on any occasion."

So why did he use it in the first place? It doesn't add up.

AdamB said...

I don't know, but has anyone actually seen him recently. What has he been doing for the past year (other than buying car radios with our money)?

Anonymous said...

But then again what have any of them actually done in the past year. Lots of talk and very little action.

barry rochford said...

Is there anything wrong in using work facilities for no gain? It might mean ordering something personal as part of a larger order or using a card that's registered on-line for convenience. If this is transparent to the auditors at least, there's nothing wrong.
That is different from those who claim £hundreds per day for taxi fares when they have a free travel pass or huge expenses for chairing committees when they do sod all.

Anonymous said...

It is usually very clear that you cannot do this with corporate credit cards, wich exist to avoid potential erros where personal and business expenses are mixed up on the same card. Didn't Mr Clement know this?

Guano

AdamB said...

Yes is should be pretty obvious to anyone that you shouldn't use taxpayers money to buy things for yourself, even if you pay it back when asked.

Anonymous said...

Even if he did pay back spontaneously, every month, any personal expenses that were on his business credit card, corporate credit cards exist so as to mantain a clear division between personal and business credit cards so, personal expenses suely ought not to have been there at all.

Guano

barry rochford said...

Don't get me wrong - I've little time for Boris's cronies, but I still find breaking this rule less problematic than MPs who were 'within the rules'.
It isn't that he pays it back when asked - which is of course waiting to be caught - but paying back when the statement arrives.
Now taxi fares paid on corporate accounts when the AM has a free travel pass - now that I could get worked up about!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Barry, that there are worse thing happening. But the whole point of corporate credit cards is to separate private from business expenditure. The leader of Bexley Council really should have known that.

Guano

Anonymous said...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/davehillblog/2009/jun/08/boris-johnson-ian-clement-expenses