POLITICS

Nadine Dorries: MPs Should Live Together In A Block Of Flats

28/06/2013 10:14 BST | Updated 28/06/2013 10:26 BST
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File photo dated 26/11/12 of Nadine Dorries who has had the Conservative whip restored after apologising for taking part without permission in ITV gameshow I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!

MPs should be banned from having second homes and instead should be housed together in a block of flats, Nadine Dorries has said.

The Tory MP announced yesterday that she had decided to stop claiming expenses and instead will work for "free".

Dorries, whose expenses are under investigation by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa), said she had made the move so she can argue for reform of the system.

Speaking on ITV's Daybreak programme on Friday morning, she said the public did not understand the need for expenses in the wake of the 2009 scandal that saw numerous MPs caught out abusing the system.

"I come from a council estate, I do not have a rich background, but expenses are there in order for MPs to do their jobs - you can't do your job unless you have a second home in Westminster," she said.

"But the public do not believe that, they do not understand that, because, since I made announcement yesterday morning, I have been overwhelmed by members of the public saying 'Well done, you. That is a great thing to do.'

"Well, actually, I'm going to be working for nothing because my £3,000 salary will go to pay for my second home in Westminster, which I need to do my job.

"The public perception is that expenses are something which are given to MPs as an extra - it's not and they have to be scrapped."

"The whole point of establishing Ipsa was that no MPs have any responsibility for their own expenses - they are now administered by Ipsa, who have actually made the system much more complicated, more inefficient and given more opportunity for the perception of wrongdoing."

Asked how she could afford the decision, she said: "Well, I have a very good partner who will not let me starve, he will feed me. Most MPs can't afford to do that."

Dorries said she was not calling for a pay rise and argued that one solution may be to buy a block of flats for MPs to use as second homes in Westminster.

She said on Twitter: "No more second homes - we need a block contract for when parliament is sitting with a Westminster hotel or purchase flats/rooms."

"Until all expenses are totally scrapped the public will mistrust Parliament. Expenses are toxic. There HAS to be a better way."