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Alan Duncan cleared of breaching expenses rules

DUNCAN ALAN Sky News has the story - more to follow...

The Press Association reports:

Shadow prisons minister Alan Duncan has been cleared of wrongly claiming tens of thousands of pounds in mortgage interest payments on his second home. The Commons Standards and Privileges Committee said there was nothing in the Tory MP's mortgage arrangements that breached Commons rules. Mr Duncan referred the case to Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards John Lyon himself after it was reported he had claimed the mortgage on his designated second home, even though he had owned it outright for more than a decade.

In his report to the committee, Mr Lyon said that it was "entirely reasonable" of Mr Duncan to have taken out a £271,000 mortgage secured on his London home - which he had owned outright since 1991 - so that he could buy a property in his Rutland and Melton constituency. The commissioner said it was equally reasonable for him to claim the interest on the mortgage as it had been taken out solely for the purpose of purchasing the property in Rutland.

"The arrangement was relatively simple in that there was no other mortgage on the London home," he said. His mortgage interest costs were necessarily incurred to enable him to have a second home based in his constituency in order to fulfil his parliamentary duties."

You can read the report on the Standards and Privileges Committee website.

Jonathan Isaby


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