The Whip and the Classic Car Club mystery

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The Independent Online
KENNETH CLARKE'S most curious reform in last week's Budget, the abolition of road tax on old cars, has thrown a spotlight on Parliament's most curious society: the House of Commons Classic Car Club, write Sophie Goodchild and Jason Kerrigan.

The club surfaced last week when it sent press releases to classic car publications welcoming the change - and extravagantly praising the role of the Tory Deputy Chief Whip, Greg Knight.

Mr Knight, MP for Derby North and a classic car enthusiast, had made "untiring efforts", the club said, and "forceful representations ... We are delighted that these have been successful".

Yet the club is unknown to the House of Commons switchboard. Of the two women named as the hon. secretary, one has never heard of it and the other is not traceable. Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, Britain's premier classic car expert, said yesterday: "It does not exist."

Mr Knight, however, insisted that the club had existed for about five years and had 20 to 30 members.

Vintage muddle, page 3