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Dezza strikes again

PUBLISHED: 12:12 08 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:48 25 August 2010

Derek Conway

Derek Conway

RESIDENTS have called for a disgraced MP to donate the enormous profit he is set to earn from selling his £1.4 million second home to a hospital he campaigned to save. Sacked Conservative MP Derek Conway charged the taxpayer thousands of pounds in expens

RESIDENTS have called for a disgraced MP to donate the enormous profit he is set to earn from selling his £1.4 million second home to a hospital he campaigned to save.

Sacked Conservative MP Derek Conway charged the taxpayer thousands of pounds in expenses to help furnish and pay mortgage interest on his three bedroom Pimlico flat in central London.

The Old Bexley and Sidcup MP, who is standing down after the general election on May 6, put his flat up for sale with Winkworth Estate Agents.

He will escape the new rules due to be brought in for the new parliament, which will restrict members from making money on properties they've claimed expenses on.

Now calls have been made for Mr Conway to put the profit he will get from selling the house into cash-strapped Queen Mary's Hospital in Sidcup (QMS), which has already seen its A&E unit closed.

Pensioner Peter Coulter, 81, (pictured) of Beechwood Crescent, Bexleyheath, said: "I can't believe that he is set to make a profit from selling this house.

Everybody has had it up to the eyeballs with politicians. He was the one that was found out early and there has been a lot of revelations in the last 18 months.

"He should give the money to Queen Mary's Hospital in Sidcup. Mr Conway fought to keep it open and went to number 10 with the Times to hand over a petition containing hundreds of signatures.. We need QMS in this borough. It proved invaluable when the other hospitals closed recently due to the Norovirus outbreak and their patients were sent to QMS."

For the flat, the taxpayer paid £89 for a brass bath rack, £254 for two bath rails, as well as replacing bath taps, basin, bath overflow fitting and basin waste fittings at a cost of £250. page 3

Items also reclaimed included two £48.50 toilet seats, two £32 toilet roll holders. In September 2008, he claimed £1,450 to change their flooring and supply new carpet. The month after (Oct 08) there was a claim for £1,720 to a fix curtain pelmet and install a new TV bracket in the lounge. cont on page 3

Mr Conway, a former Chief Executive of the Cat Protection League, hit the headlines in January 2008, when it was revealed that he was using tax payers' money to pay his son for work there was little or no evidence of.

When asked if it was ethical to keep the profit on the flat, he told the Times: "I bought the flat before I was an MP and the figures are between me and the Inland Revenue.

"I will be a private citizen in a few days time and you lot [the press] will have had your fun with me."

Mr Conway would not confirm what his future career plans but did rule out going back to work for the Cat Protection League.

He also refused to talk about possible plans to move out of London. He added: "It is not the concern of the press."

Chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, Matthew Elliott said: "It defies belief that Derek Conway is in a position to trouser a profit on this house. If taxpayers' money has been used to buy or improve a property, then any profits should be returned to taxpayers.

"The new rules on MPs expenses should prevent the potential or incentive for MPs to make any capital gain at the taxpayers' expense. Mr Conway will make money now, so it is less likely the new rules could stop him cashing in later.

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