The BBC is reporting David Cameron as saying that Bill Cash has "very serious questions to answer" about his expenses. Meanwhile the Conservative MP for Stone has issued this statement in response to The Telegraph's report:
STATEMENT FROM BILL CASH MP
"Regarding the article which appeared in The Daily Telegraph and other media commentary, I would like to make the following statement:
The tenancy agreement with my daughter was for the period 1 March 2004 to 1 March 2005. It was at a reasonable rent and was cleared by the Fees Office in advance. The flat was also designated as my “second home” in accordance with the rules.
At this time, the rules clearly permitted an agreement of this kind and they were not changed until July 2006. I had moved out of her flat a full year before the new rules came in.
If I had been elsewhere, I might well have had to pay a higher rent and I do not believe that there was any disadvantage to the taxpayer.
I did have a one-bedroom property in Pimlico, but I did not rent it out. I paid the mortgage myself while my son, Sam, occupied it while he was waiting to move into a new home. I did not claim any allowances in respect of that property during the time of my tenancy agreement with my daughter.
I have never exercised my option of claiming parliamentary allowances in respect of my larger home in Shropshire (which for the purposes of the parliamentary allowance system qualifies as a “constituency home” because it is within 20 miles of the constituency boundary) whilst I have been a Member of Parliament and therefore have certainly not made any extravagant or extraordinary claims which others seem to have made.
On leaving the flat at Notting Hill, I stayed in clubs, hotels or with friends when I needed to be in London for parliamentary business. There was, of course, the general election when I had to be in the constituency.
I notified the Fees Office of my movements during that period in accordance with the rules. My staying in these clubs / hotels meant that I was paying less than I would have done if I had been in a rented property at that time. The average per month for the three month period was £612, so the tax-payer was not disadvantaged.
I moved to the flat in Pimlico in August and commenced claiming from the parliamentary allowances in respect of this flat in Pimlico by notification to the Fees Office as required.
My daughter was a councillor in Bridgnorth and was fighting the general election in Salford. She lived at our family home in Shropshire as well as moving around a great deal, including living with her fiancé, whom she married later that year.