East End commuters unimpressed by Banks

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Indy Politics

He may be a local boy made good, but commuters in the MP Tony Banks' West Ham constituency were less than impressed on hearing he was claiming £20,000 for a second home in the capital.

He may be a local boy made good, but commuters in the MP Tony Banks' West Ham constituency were less than impressed on hearing he was claiming £20,000 for a second home in the capital.

Mr Banks, whose constituency home in Forest Gate is a 30-minute Tube trip from Westminster, was revealed yesterday to be claiming the full housing allowance for his central London home.

Bernadette O'Reilly, 53, an administrator for Lord Stanley of Alderley, who works in central London, said as she got off a Tube train at West Ham: "I think it's dishonest. Some MPs do have to claim expenses, but not London-based MPs.Margaret Thatcher wasn't like that, she wasn't milking the state."

Kelly Warman, 33, a student from West Ham, said: "There's nothing you can do about it. Politicians allocate funds for themselves and we pay for it. It's one of those things that always go on before we find out about it."

Richard Newell, 22, an undertaker who works in West Ham, said he did not feel the housing allowance could be justified. "All so-called cost should come from a central typing pool, instead it's: 'Here's a blank cheque, go and employ five masseurs.' It's a disgrace, it's our money. Nurses don't get pay rises."

Anthony Koffie, 34, a student in Deptford, said the money should be put back into the community. "I don't know how much they spend on their houses or private lives, how can they prove it? The Government should only give them as much as they need."

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