Lord Carey condemns 'clawing greed' of MPs

|PIC1|The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, has criticised the “clawing greed” of Members of Parliament following revelations by The Telegraph about MPs' expenses claims.

Last week, The Telegraph published details of expenses claims made by the Prime Minister, Cabinet ministers and MPs. MPs have defended their claims saying that they are within the rules, and in some cases have challenged the accuracy of some of the reports.

Writing in the News of the World, Lord Carey said, “The moral authority of Parliament is at its lowest ebb in living memory.

"The latest revelations show it was not just a few MPs with their noses in the trough, but a culture of abuse."

He said, "It is not just the clawing greed of painstaking claims for such minor items as tampons, barbecue sets and bathrobes, but also the egregious way some have transferred allowances from one second property to another – enabling them to refurbish homes at public expense, then sell them for profit."

He added that during a time of financial crisis the revelations threatened “to be the straw that broke the camel’s back”.

The former chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life also criticised MPs for a “failure of moral leadership”, whilst former independent MP Martin Bell condemned “scandals of shamelessness”.

Lord Carey also said he was concerned that the revelations could damage the reputation of Parliament so much that it could put people off wanting to become an MP.

"Let us not forget there was a time when to become an MP was seen as a noble and honourable way of serving your country … Ask yourself now whether men or women of integrity from whatever walk of life will want to touch political office."