Tory MP Anthony Steen has announced that he won’t be standing at the next election:
Anthony Steen has confirmed that he is standing down at the next general election. Speaking exclusively to ConservativeHome, he said:
“The real issue is who can fix the country, and I have become a distraction, so have decided that I won’t stand again. I don’t want to risk the party losing the seat, so it is in the best interests of the party that I go.
“There has been no pressure from my association; they have been marvellous: members have been very put out by the Daily Telegraph coverage.
“I’ve had a very good innings, there’s no bitterness, no anger, but as the saying goes, all political careers end in tears.”
Steen had claimed £88,000 for gardening work in the grounds of his multi-million pound mansion:
Mr Steen, the MP for Totnes who has been in the Commons since 1974, paid a forestry expert to inspect up to 500 trees in the grounds of his country estate.
Over four years Mr Steen claimed £87,729, including payments for tree surgery, guarding his shrubs against rabbits, maintaining a separate cottage and overhauling his private sewage system. In January 2005, items on Mr Steen’s claim for £13,742 included £2,858.94 for leaking pipes, £1,755.89 for fixing the water supply from the “spring and bore hole”, £1,318 for a wrought iron fireplace and £597.14 for lights.
There was also a £459 charge from a woodland consultant to come and inspect new plantings on Mr Steen’s lands. The consultant tagged shrubs and assessed whether there was a need for “additional guarding” against rabbits.
Another £120 was for “fencing on two fields to the right of the drive leading down to the stables”.
I’m saddened that Steen has resigned, saddened because the worthless greedy shit will not suffer the humiliation of losing what would normally be a safe Tory seat at the general election.
(via Iain Dale)