UK

Tory Karl McCartney MP Wrote Offensive Notes To Expenses Staff

28/02/2013 20:20 GMT | Updated 28/02/2013 20:26 GMT

A Tory MP has apologised after writing offensive notes to staff processing his expenses claims.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) revealed that Tory Karl McCartney had told one official they were "talking shite", and condemning another as a "pedantic SOAB".

Ipsa chief executive Andrew McDonald went public after McCartney launched a personal attack on him in the House of Commons.

Speaking during Business Questions, the MP claimed he was the victim of "bullying tactics" by the watchdog, which was set up after the 2009 expenses scandal.

During Business Questions on Thursday morning, McCartney said: "What do you think that subsequent to me raising these issues of Ipsa's senior management's bullying tactics and threats to try and silence me regarding their spiralling costs?

"Do you think that their chief executive should show some backbone and meet with me as he refused to do so for over two and a half years, instead of attempting to smear Members of Parliament's names by false innuendo and subterfuge?"

McDonald then went public with his response to the MP.

He wrote: "Some of the notes written by you, and attached to your claims, were recently brought to my attention.

"Having reviewed those notes, I was taken aback by the content, which ranged from the abusive ("you are a pedantic SOAB, aren't you?") through to the offensive ("you're talking shite") and on to the condescending ("simples - or didn't you do geography at Eton and Oxford...").

"We will do all that is reasonable to shield our team from such treatment. This policy and its application in your case have been expressly endorsed by the Board.

"I had hoped it would be possible to address this behaviour without writing to you formally. In the light of your comments today, I write to ask that you conduct your dealings with us - orally or in writing - in civil terms.

"I do not ask you to like Ipsa or its policies. At the same time, Ipsa's team deserves to be treated in a courteous manner. I ask that, with immediate effect, you desist from correspondence which falls below this standard."

In a statement later, McCartney admitted his messages had been "inappropriate".

He said: "I apologise unreservedly to Ipsa for my comments which were inappropriate, and which I regret having made," he said.

"I accept that such comments have given cause for offence.

"You will not see me making similar remarks in the future in respect of Ipsa, which has a difficult and important job to do."