I have made no secret of the fact that I think that the MPs' Communications Allowance is wrong. Sitting MPs get to spend £10,000 of public money a year on leaflets promoting themselves and their activities.
I think that candidates for election and political parties should fund their own campaigns and not use our taxes for this purpose. I have made the clear commitment not to claim this allowance if elected to Parliament and David Cameron has made it clear that if he becomes Prime Minister this allowance will be scrapped for all MPs.
With a General Election being held next year the deadline for spending this Communications Allowance is the 31st December. It would appear that my opponent, Labour MP Alan Whitehead is hell bent on milking the taxpayer for every last penny before the deadline kicks in. Today I discovered that he has had another glossy leaflet printed at taxpayer's expense, which he uses to attack the city council, and by proxy the Conservatives and to spread mischief.
Mr Whitehead has made a great play of trying to say he is not like all the MPs who have behaved disgracefully with their expense claims. Yet he has shown that he is the same as the rest, taking as much as he can from the public purse for this own benefit. I find this behaviour even more disgusting in the current climate, a week after the Chancellor's Pre Budget Report when we found out the country is even more bankrupt than we first thought and in a week that the Labour Government is announcing billions of pounds of defence cuts at time when we are fighting a bitter war in Afghanistan.
When I go out knocking doors I hear time and time again from people how disgusted they are with politicians in this country. Today I can only agree with them.