Stephen Fry: Public anger over MPs’ expenses is ‘revolting’

Jessica Geen May 22, 2009
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Openly gay broadcaster Stephen Fry has waded into the row over MPs’ extravagant expenses claims, saying public anger over the scandal was “revolting”.

Speaking to the Big Issue, he said: “There’s nothing worse than the British in one of their fits of morality. It is a revolting sight because everyone just points a finger and blames others.”

He added: “Where do journalists get off trying to pretend that it’s somehow worse to fiddle your expenses if it’s the taxpayers’ money than if it’s Rupert Murdoch’s? It’s morally indefensible.

“By all means tell the story – it’s a very important story to tell, and I’m not sympathetic to the MPs at all. I don’t think they’re sorry, I only think they’re sorry they’ve been found out.”

Fry continued: “Everyone I know whom I deeply respect and like and think is honest would never become a politician, because they’re not allowed to be normal human beings by the press, by us.

“On one hand we want the world to be perfect but we don’t want to pay more tax. We want the environment sorted and to keep our cars. No one can square these circles.”

He added: “We think that what’s wrong with the country is not us, but the person next to us. We prefer to say it’s the fault of some Scot who happens to be the Prime Minister – that’s just not the way the world works, in my view.”

His comments came as openly gay Chief Whip Nick Brown was exposed by the Daily Telegraph for claiming £18,880 for food expenses between 2004 and 2008 without submitting any expenses.

Brown, who is in charge of disciplining Labour MPs who break the rules on expenses and claims, also claimed £200 a month for “repairs”, £200 a month for “service and maintenance” and £250 a month for a cleaner without submitting any receipts.

The latest revelations are particularly embarrassing for the government because Brown has been given the task of disciplining Labour MPs for fraudulent and outlandish

In the last week, he has suspended MPs Elliot Morley and David Chaytor over allegations that they claimed for mortgages which had been paid off.

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