MP Roberta Blackman-Woods calls for Michael Martin to quit
A SENIOR Labour MP last night said Commons Speaker Michael Martin should quit as part of a new “package” to tackle the expenses scandal.
Durham City MP Roberta Blackman-Woods, assistant to Regional Minister Nick Brown, spoke out as Mr Martin tried to hang onto his job amid mounting criticism of his performance of the expenses crisis.
And she criticised claims made by some of her colleague as going "well beyond what is necessary".
Her comments came as a top Labour insider demanded by-elections in constituencies where MPs are suspected of committing fraud.
Referring to Speaker Martin, Dr Blackman-Woods, pictured inset, said: "My view is his going has got to be part of the new package, which is a new system for MPs allowances, new scrutiny system, new transparency."
The Labour MP also opened her claims to The Journal and published additional details of expenses for her second home in London on her website, where she has already published some information for several years.
She paid for a television and kitchen items from her own pocket, describing them as “not essential” to her job.
That will raise further questions about why other MPs did leave the taxpayer to pick up the tab for such goods.
Her main home is in Durham and she bought a small one-bedroom flat in London to use when in Westminster during the week after being elected in 2005.
She claims mortgage interest but not capital payments on the London property.
"I believe this arrangement represents good value for money for the taxpayer because if I were to rent my property, given its location in central London, it would cost £1,800 per month.