Labour Party NEC: Statement on MPs' expenses

Gordon BrownCath Speight, Chair of the Labour Party's National Executive Committee, and Ray Collins, General Secretary of the Labour Party, said:

"The Labour Party's National Executive Committee fully supports the action that Gordon Brown is taking on expenses, and has today unanimously endorsed a tough new disciplinary process that can bar MPs found to have flouted the rules from standing as Labour candidates at the next election.

"The NEC has agreed today that a panel of NEC members will be established to interview any Labour MPs where there appears to be evidence against them. The panel will have the power to recommend to the NEC that MPs are not allowed to stand as Labour candidates at the next General Election.

"Labour Party members expect the highest standards from Labour representatives and the NEC resolved today that any allegations must be fully investigated, and when appropriate by the proper independent authorities.

"The Prime Minister and the Labour Party Chair, Harriet Harman, have already requested that the Committee on Members Allowances lead an independent investigation of all expenses claims in the last four years. If the Committee on Members Allowances does not investigate then the Labour Party will launch its own investigation, supported by a leading independent lawyer and accountants, to review all expenses claimed by Labour MPs in the last four years. Any cases of wrongdoing identified in this process will be referred to the NEC's panel."

Gordon Brown MP, Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party, said:

"I demand the very highest standards from Labour Members of Parliament.  They came into politics to serve the public not themselves. But where there has been wrongdoing on expenses we owe it to the British people to take action.

"The current expenses regime must be reformed, and individual MPs must account for their expenses. Already, we have toughened the rules to ensure MPs must submit receipts to account for all their claims and any MPs with second jobs must declare them properly. I have asked for systematic independent scrutiny of every single expenses claim made in the last four years - with the power to decide what should be paid back.

"But I am committed to a complete clean up of the system so the work that MPs do to improve the lives of their constituents is not overshadowed by those who have broken the rules. Wherever immediate disciplinary action is required we will take it - including barring sitting MPs from re-standing as Labour candidates if necessary."