Standards Watchdog To Investigate Keens

Couple accused of misusing Commons second home allowance

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The Brentford and Isleworth constituency

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On the same day Ann and Alan Keen go to court to try and regain possession of their Brentford property, it has emerged that Parliament's standards watchdog is to investigate the married Labour MPs’ expense claims.

Dubbed ‘Mr and Mrs Expenses’, the couple have been accused of misusing the Commons second home allowance.

It has been widely reported that claims of more than £130,000 over the past four years were submitted to pay for their second home in Westminster. It subsequently transpired that the couple’s nominated main home had not been lived in for more than seven months whilst renovation work was carried out and that their ‘second home’ was in fact their primary residence - under parliamentary rules, MPs are meant to nominate their main home as the one at which they spend most nights.

A spokeswoman for the parliamentary commissioner for standards confirmed an investigation into the couple's claims had been launched.

"The commissioner has received a complaint, and agreed to investigate it," she said.

Alan Keen is currently part of the committee looking into claims that The News of the World tapped the phones of 1,000s of high profile figures including a number of politicians.

As a Labour member of the Commons culture, media and sport committee, he was to be “completely shocked” by The Guardian’s revelations.


July 10, 2009