X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week. If you receive it, you’ll also find your subscriber number at the top of our weekly highlights email.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050. If you’ve only just subscribed, you may not yet have been issued with a subscriber number. In this case you can use the temporary web ID number, included in your email order confirmation.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

If you have any difficulties creating an account or logging in please take a look at our FAQs page.

Coffee House

Ipsa’s costly pursuit of one MP undermines its purpose

3 March 2014

4:30 PM

3 March 2014

4:30 PM

Ipsa, never popular with MPs anyway, has done itself a disservice with its pursuit of Conservative MP Stewart Jackson over its demand that he hand over £54,000 to the expenses watchdog to reflect the increased value of his property that he had claimed mortgage interest support for. On Friday, Jackson, who had refused to pay, revealed that Ipsa had dropped the case after an independent valuer said there had been no rise in his property’s value. Jackson said:

‘The application of commonsense and some compromise on Ipsa’s part may have resolved the dispute much more expeditiously and without the cost to the taxpayer of more than £25,000 in legal fees, including retaining the services of a QC and junior counsel from Matrix Chambers in drawing up and advising on the High Court papers. This, in my opinion, was legal overkill. It was unnecessary and, as events have proven, totally unjustified.’

Ipsa argues that Jackson only claimed that the valuations of his property were fundamentally flawed when the regulator demanded he pay £54,000, with a spokesman saying:

‘If Mr Jackson had submitted accurate valuations in the first instance, or produced suitable evidence in the months of discussion about this, we would not have had to escalate this issue or seek legal support to try and conclude the matter.’

But in standing up to Ipsa, Jackson has made himself quite a hero among MPs who are fed up with the expenses regime that they had hoped would bring more light to their remuneration packages but has instead brought more heat. One MP remarked to me this morning that ‘someone had to stand up to them, and no-one else was brave enough to do it’. Don’t forget that it is already sufficiently unpopular that those MPs who help colleagues with their regular expenses struggles are able to assemble supporters for leadership bids, no matter how improbable. This costly pursuit of a backbench MP doesn’t help the watchdog’s cause a great deal.

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close