The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner has cleared Sarah Teather of allegations that she broke Parliamentary expense rules. You may remember those claims being enthusiastically hawked around by Tory Bear and others as if they were copper-bottomed fact; actually their claims were more like a rusty colander.
As the Willesden Chronicle reports of the Commissioner:
He discontinued the inquiry because he had no grounds for believing that claims Ms Teather made from parliamentary funds for her office provided support to the cost of the Lib Dem party…
Brent Liberal Democrats said the party contributed over and above its usage of the office, as approved by the Commons, calculated by a surveyor and agreed with a solicitor.
But the clearing of Sarah Teather actually raises more questions for Labour than it does for right-wing bloggers because of the forged letters which have come to light.
A letter of complaint against Sarah Teather was sent to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, supposedly from a man at an address in Brent. Then a second letter of complaint was sent, again from this man, but giving a new address. However, this new address does not exist. There is a real address with the same house number and postcode (but different rest of address), at which there is one person on the electoral register – a woman who has the name of someone listed on Labour MP Dawn Butler’s register of interests as being a member of her staff.
Moreover, the Parliamentary Commissioner tracked down the man who supposedly sent the complaints and concluded, “I have satisfied myself as to his identity. He has stated that he did not make a complaint against you”.
So we have one letter from a genuine address, where the person denies sending it, and one letter from a fake address, where again the person denies sending it and the fake address is remarkably similar to the address of someone who looks to work for Dawn Butler MP (and so simlar that a letter sent to the fake address would be delivered to that staff member’s address by the Post Office).
No response as yet from Dawn Butler or the member of staff.