Simmonds claims expenses for missed vote

| 14/01/2014

(CNS): The overseas territories minister has made an expenses claim for attending the UK parliament last year, even though he missed a crucial vote which the coalition government lost. Mark Simmonds was one of ten government members that missed the vote on the British Prime Minister’s proposal to launch strikes against Syria. At the time of the vote Simmonds claimed he was in conversation with a government colleague in a room yards from the Commons chamber and did not hear the division bell.  According to records released by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority and published by the Daily Mail, although he missed the vote Simmonds claimed £112.50 for the drive to Westminster and back from his constituency.

Prime Minister David Cameron recalled Parliament on 29 August during the summer break to debate the principle of British involvement in military action in Syria after reports of war crimes by the Assad regime against his own people. While Simmonds had been embarrassed as an FCO minister by his failure to make it to the chamber, he still put in the claim for his day trip to London.

Go to Daily Mail article

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Comments (17)

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  1. Dreadlock Holmes says:

    I need some assistance I am filling out a form requesting to be reimbursed by my employer for the costs of going to work. Aside from charging for my time and fuel for my vehicle… can I also claim for the time it took to fill out the form? Which would be overtime and also can I claim for the ink and paper?

     

    And part of my rent? Because I needed a place to fill out the form?

    I can't??  Why not??

     

    Let's face it folks this is not news, politicians know how to game the system. They created it.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The honesty of British politicians is on a par with Cayman politicians. In fact it seems to be universal; look at the conflicts of interest in the US Congress where members are routinely in the pocket of industry and lobbyists.  The whole system is flawed. Even if Simmonds was in the chamber for the vote its not as though he would have been permitted to vote with his conscience if he objected to military action. That might well be why he stayed away. It's depressing that the countries that tout democracy and freedom the loudest are really democratic and free in theory only.

    • Anonymous says:

      This morning I was thinking exactly the same myself…being a politician has mostly gone from being what in the old days was a will to serve your country (and no matter what country you are in) to wanting to serve your own ambitions. Of course there are and always will be exceptions, but cannot help thinking we might be better off going to back to a system of a council of appointed Wise men and women whose have no personal ambitions, and only wish to better their country and international relations only.

      I am not sure the much talked about democracy is fully working any longer

    • Anonymous says:

      But of course when Tara stays away from a vote it is a whole different story, isn't it? smh. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Tara will stay away, good reason or not, as long as she THINKS she'll never be held accountable. She'll never give a straight answer on anything….good politican? or plain incompentent and young? we'll see…

        • Anonymous says:

          She is neither young nor incompetent. Obviously you don't like her but she has great ability. 

  3. Anonymous says:

    Yes, let's focus on those awful Caymanian politicians and let's pretend that the British politicians are all above reproach that we can continue to feel superior. LOL. 

  4. Anonymous says:

    Whilst missing this important vote was possibly contemptuous, claiming the £112.50 allowance is justifiable and lawful as Mr Simmonds was present within the Palace of Westminster. Regardless if he attended the actual chamber, if he was in attendance at the Palace and conducting his MP and ministerial obligations, then what did he do wrong?

    It is for government whips and the Parliamentary Standards Committee to discipline MP's if they have transgressed the party line or the law, not story hungry journalists. All that happens is that you give succour to those whose narrow minded agendas feed off such rubbish, Whodatis are you listening?

    Try mounting an investigation against the over inflated salaries, double dipping pensions and business dealings of Caymans playtime politicians, instead of fermenting anti UK sentiments amongst the feable minded. Get your own house in order, it it only a very small house after all.

    Please CNS, stop using benign stories from the Daily 'junk' Mail, if you don't understand the detail behind your plagiarised story, don't print it.

    • Anonymous says:

      it always amaze me how low someone would stoop in compromising their integrity for a fee bucks- in this case 112 pounds.  Never heard of "grab all loose all"

      • Anonymous says:

        Same the world over, once your snout's been in the trough it's impossible to pull it out!

    • Anonymous says:

      Ummmm…. that would be "fomenting" and "feeble". "Fermenting" is nice though!

      btw, double dipping pension and salary is also lawful and happens in the UK too:

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2327229/Double-dippers-The-5-000-retired-police-pension-AND-salary.html

      Ooops…I used the dreaded Daily 'junk' Mail!

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow, seems you over-reacting there a bit mate. 

      And your comments indicate a UK / Cayman devide much more so than others, or the story!

    • Anonymous says:

      Amusing!  British taxpayers paid him for being there in body but not in spirit/mind.  Ever heard obeying not only the letter of the law, but the even more important  spirit of the law?  How can anyone write such utter rrubbish?

    • Anonymous says:

      What did he do wrong? Are you serious, friend? His constituents elected him to represent them in parliament and excuse me for pointing out the obvious, but isn't a fundamental part of that representation actually casting a vote on their behalf? You seem to think his being a minister somehow supplants that primary obligation, which is plain weird. As it is he failed to exercise his responsibility towards his constituents and left them unrepresented. You don't think there's a problem with that? I certainly do.

      • Anonymous says:

        A minister can't vote with his conscience (and against the party line) and keep his job, so "unintentional" abstaining is the best he could do. Considering most people in the UK are opposed to "foreign adventures", he probably felt that he was representing their interests

  5. Glad I didn't vote for him says:

    Why did he drive all the way when he could have driven (or been driven) to Grantham and got a direct train to London? The train is not only quicker, greener and cheaper but you can (as I do regularly) get work done during the journey. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Government Ministers tend not to go on public transport these days, I think they are afraid that people might try to throw them of while it's still moving.