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Heathrow was built before fast trains moved airports away from cities. Britain needs to catch up. Boris as usual gets it right.

Expenses are generally allowable where they are 'wholly, exclusively and necessarily' incurred for the benefit of the organisation paying the bill.

Would Boris have gone to the conference if he weren't mayor? If so then the bill is his to pay...

If it isn't allowable (and he seems to have some doubt himself), then I hope he does it quickly and appologises (so demonstrating openness and honesty) rather than emulating the disgraceful behaviour of some other notable politicians who hang on at all costs, in the hope that some interpretation can be found that makes their aparant dishonesty 'ok'.

The hotel bill should not have been taxpayer funded.

This seems to tie in with the recent discussion on the same subject. Am sure it is not illegal,but as I and others have said,milking the system for all it`s worth doesn`t look good. He should have known that the media are always looking out for this kind of thing.

Boris isn't short of money, why can't he pay his own hotel bill? This looks bad, even if Boris can show it's technically alowed. I suppose that creep Derek Conway paying his odious son £40,000 for doing nothing was technically within the rules too. Perception is everything. Boris should pay the money back.

Taxpayers should not be paying the hotel bills of politicians attending their party conferences. End of story.

two thousand pounds for a hotel, at MY expense? Tory sleze is back after just a couple of months

I thought Boris looked embarrassed by the disclosure and he was right to point out that we only know about it because of the transparency regime that he has introduced. If he had gone to all the parties the issue would have been different but given that he only went to the Conservatives in Birmingham I think it sensible he pay for his personal share of the bill. The story will then be closed.

Indefensible, absolutely indefensible. What is the mentality of people who think that they should claim from the tax payer this sort of expense anyway. If he looked embarrassed good. He damned well should be.

The bill SHOULD BE paid by the taxpayer, but Boris should also attend the other major party conferences. The Mayor needs to be in touch with the parties in order to properly do his job.

It was probably one of his staff who put the claim in. He probably didn't know about it. Hotel bills don't usually become the concern of a CEO of a company

Woops! Naughty Boris...Bad Boris!! But if he says sorry and doesn't do it again then people will forget about it.

This is the problem when someone who is a high profile politician is also in an elected public office. Either Boris should attend ALL three Parties Conferences in his capacity as London's Elected Mayor and in that case the bill should be paid for him or if he wishes only to attend his own (Conservative) Party's Conference as a well known Party Member he ought to pay his own bill.

What frequently annoys me about this site is the lack of comparable outrage whenever it's a Tory caught out in such a way. If this had been Ken, for example, the comments section would be filled with the usual apoplectic rage directed by ConHome members towards Labour.

Taking an interest in politics is great, but it should be a considered interest. Not the excuse for tribalist ranting often seen here. On the other hand, the readership of ConHome tend to be vastly more tempered than those on e.g. Guido's blog, and that is to Tim's eternal credit.

Dror, I think if you read this thread and those on the Conway, MEP expenses, John Lewis rebels and Spelman incidents, you'll find that most ConHome contributors are very harsh indeed on our own politicians.

We expect Labour politicians to be in favour of using more public money, we expect ours to be more careful. When our politicians use taxpayers' cash in such dubious fashions, we feel like they've betrayed their conservative principles.

Fair enough Cleethorpes, but having read a thread about Spelman yesterday I can't agree with you that ConHome members have been especially harsh on her. It tended more towards a "Caroline will be exonerated as she is one of the most honest people in the House" kind of sentiment.

Dror Ben-Ari seems not to have noticed that a) this is a website called "conservative home", b) the fact that he is commenting on a story about misuse of taxpayers money by a Conservative on said site, c) that comments are not exactly supportive (besides my own, we have "Would Boris have gone to the conference if he weren't mayor? If so then the bill is his to pay...", "milking the system for all it's worth", "Boris isn't short of money, why can't he pay his own hotel bill?",
"Indefensible, absolutely indefensible", etc.), d) how many people spend Sunday morning on a political website?, e) Conservatives largely trust that Boris Johnson isn't a bad chap and are therefore liable to be more leniant than with someone with a track record of misuse of taxpayers money..

I have to say, I was wondering to myself whether equivalent Labour or Liberal sites would be as strongly antipathetic to their politicians acting in such a manner.

I think Boris should just pay the money back. It could stop the momentum of this story, and get people to think, "What a nice chap. Recognises his mistakes. Good old Boris."

As for Spelman - look how low her ratings have been in the monthly cabinet performance surveys since "nannygate" got into the press.

Thank you for your comments Dror.

I think people are generous to Caroline Spelman - on the whole - because nothing has been proven against her yet. Innocent until proven guilty and all that.

Go out and meet ordinary people, in the park/in the pub/on the doorstep, and ask them to vote for your party (it does not matter which) and too many will tell you that they are turned of politics, and will probably not vote at all, because politicians are “just in it for themselves”

I have heard this many times and often in vain to I try to explain that I support my party (which happens to be UKIP) because of my beliefs, that I am paid nothing and that I fund my own expenses.

This sort of story (there are so many these days from the Labour, Tory, LibDems and yes, a couple of former UKIP MEPs too (at least the are former UKIP MEPs) just demeans all who partake in the political process without which our ailing democracy will perish.

He needs to pay this, and quickly. He looked foolish today on TV defending it. I thought he was supposed to be above all this?

Did Boris (and team) go to the other party conferences? I think not. What was he there for? He didn't explain.

I used to find him mildly amusing and worth listening to. Now I find him shifty.

RE: Bias on this site

I really don't see anyone gong soft on Boris.

And, for comparison take a look at the new labour flagship 'labourlist' - no opportunity to discuss anything new there - and everything I have written there recently has never appeared. A shame that - it would be nice to ask some socialists about their party (and how it is crumbling) on their own turf...

What I don't like about the spellman episode is that information was witheld (for no aparant reason) but as things became known from other souces the 'already known' information was then released. A nasty Mandelsonesque process... Mind you I am looking forward to all his answers now that he is blogging on labour list (ha ha ha).

I used to find Boris mildly amusing and interesting. Now he just sounds shifty.

Boris is abusing the system, is he any better than Red Ken or all these politicos, or just greedy and grasping?

Boris should repay in full and make an equivalent or greater donation to Charity.

If he were to do this quickly, one might believe he is contrite, at least until his next gaffe.

Rule 1 in politics - don@t do or write anything you would be embarassed to see on the frontpage of a newspaper.

Rule 2 If in doubt pay your own way.

Rule 3 If you make a mistake, apologise and if necessary reimburse.

Very wise advise from Mr Bennett! Perhaps,it should be on a card given to every MP, Councillor, Candidate, etc.

I wouldn't expect him to make a contribution to charity over this but feel Boris has made a misjudgement or has permitted a staff member to make one in his name. He should pay his own way to attend the Tory Conference.

If I was in Boris's shoes I would claim were it is legal and right as well. Boris has done nothing wrong, and has done much that is right. This is not a gaffe it’s a legitimate expense. If I were on business for my employer then I would not expect to have to foot the bill. This is a typically dishonest story, which hopes to make mischief.

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