CONSTITUENTS are invited to examine MP Christine Russell’s expenses from next Friday.
Limited details have emerged this week with reports of Ms Russell claiming £97.40 for a futon, £208.94 for a vacuum cleaner and £39.99 for a coffee pot.
But, unlike many North West MPs, Ms Russell – who insists she has “nothing to hide” – has not published her expenses online.
The MP, who was this week away on parliamentary business in Sierra Leone, is not making details generally available until their accuracy has been checked by the Commons fees office.
She has also been advised she could fall foul of the Data Protection Act if information is made public containing personal details of third parties.
Former Labour supporter Mike Turnbull, of Ingham Close, Boughton, wrote in an open letter to the MP: “Your name has not yet been mentioned in the current debacle regarding expenses.
“However, I have noted that your claim for sharing a flat in London with another MP is, to say the least, quite excessive alongside your claim for staff and office running costs.
“However, until all expenses have been checked I will not comment further except by saying I have in my possession all your expenses over the last seven years and they are in excess of £770,000.”
Mr Turnbull, 63, asked whether the MP was worth the money given she supported the Government “unquestioningly”, including her “disgraceful” vote against the Gurkhas being allowed to settle in the UK.
He added: “I must say that you have made small contributions in relation to poor countries and debt relief.”
Mr Turnbull, former UK sales manager for BICC, previously wrote to Ms Russell about the expenses issues but was less than impressed with the reply in which she claimed the current parliamentary expenses system was “more robust and transparent” than ever.
She criticised journalists for making “vexatious” enquiries to write articles “condemning particular MPs for the legitimate expenses that they have claimed’.
Constituents can make an appointment to check Ms Russell’s expenses from Friday, June 5, by calling her office on 01244 400174.