Section 28 MP forced to stand down over expenses
The MP responsible for creating Section 28 is being forced to stand down at the next election after claims he abused his expenses.
David Wilshire, the Tory MP for Spelthorne in Surrey, had originally defended using his expenses to pay an unregistered company he owned but relented under pressure from the Conservative Party head office.
Wilshire admitted that to fight on would “run the risk of harming my local party and our national party’s chances of winning at the next general election”.
The disgraced MP claims he paid the £105,500 worth of expenses to his company for office “suppliers”.
The Daily Telegraph reports that the majority of MPs claim expenses back for each service individually to ensure transparency. Instead, by sub-contracting through his company, Wilshire made it impossible to see how his expenses were being used.
The MP for Spelthorne has so far been unable to explain why services were not claimed for in the usual way.
House of Commons rules forbid MPs not only from profiting from but appearing to profit from the use of public money.
Wilshire’s position was already being questioned after revelations that he was claiming the maximum second home allowance despite his constituency being only 20 miles from Westminster.
He introduced Section 28 in 1987 after being shown a copy of gay-themed childeren’s book Jenny lives with Eric and Martin. The amendment to the local government act made it illegal to “promote in any maintained school the acceptability of homosexuality”.
Despite opposing every other major piece of gay rights legislation including gay adoption and civil partnerships, Wilshire insists that he only wrote Section 28 to prevent taxpayers’ money being wasted.
Section 28 was repealed in 2003 and Tory leader David Cameron has since apologised for it.