Under-fire expenses watchdog quits
Wednesday 03 August 2011
The Commons expenses watchdog has quit after coming under fire for refusing to name MPs being investigated for dubious claims.
Luke March has resigned as the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority's (Ipsa) compliance officer with immediate effect.
The move followed an interview with the Press Association last week in which Mr March argued that details of his probes should remain secret.
He said it would be "unfair" to identify MPs before allegations were proved, and suggested there should be no publicity at all if they were cleared.
Mr March appeared to be contradicting transparency guidelines set by Ipsa, which indicate that politicians should be identified when a formal probe is launched, and cases should be heard in public where possible.
A statement on the body's website revealed that Mr March, who had only been in the post two months, tendered his resignation last Wednesday.
In a letter to chairman Sir Ian Kennedy, he wrote: "As I explained during our conversation, after much thought and with a good deal of regret, I have come to the conclusion that the role of Compliance Officer for Ipsa is not the right role for me.
"On that basis, I have decided that the sensible thing for me to do is to resign the post."
Sir Ian replied: "Thank you for your letter of July 27 and for notice of your resignation from the post of Compliance Officer.
"I accept, with regret, and understand your conclusion that the role is not the right one for you. I know you did not reach this conclusion lightly or hastily."
Martyn Taylor, previously Ipsa's head of governance, has now become its third compliance officer in little more than a year.
He will fill in for six months until a permanent successor can be found.
Ex-RAF officer Alan Lockwood was given the post on an interim basis when Ipsa took charge of Commons expenses after the General Election.
Mr March was part-way through probes into a number of MPs' claims.
Liberal Democrat Bob Russell is the only named subject so far. He disclosed the fact himself in May, and the case was later dropped.
The Microsoft mogul told fans a few home truths during his Reddit AMA
- 1 Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Dad attempts revenge on teenage daughter, plan backfires spectacularly
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
Boris Johnson claims porn-obsessed Islamic jihadists are 'literally w*****s'
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Ball pool for adults opens in London
Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...
£21000 - £40000 per annum + Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Key Stage 2 tea...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...