Multi-Millionaire Sean Woodward St Helens MP Blasts Expenses System

Sean Woodward St HelensMulti-millionaire St Helens MP and Tory turncoat Shaun Woodward has launched a scathing attack on MPs' expenses system, though he is in the fortunate position of being a man of independent means, or rather, he married an heiress!

The Labour MP, whose own expenses were published by the Daily Telegraph, branded the system 'rotten' and an 'unmitigated disaster'.
Mr Woodward's comments are some of the damning from a senior politician since the fuore errupted last week.

He said: "I think the public look at us right now and think we've all got our noses in the trough. Our profession looks shameful - it's embarrassing - and right now if I try and make almost any defence of our collective position or my position it looks terrible.

"We have to look at how taxpayers money is spent generally, so that means I think you should have the right to look at every single one of my receipts. I just want to say I'm sorry, because I think our profession is not made up of crooks, I think it is people who genuinely want to make life better for people."

The MP for St Helens South claimed £98,079 between January 2004 and June 2008 to help pay the mortgage interest on a London flat he stays in when Parliament is sitting and £3,814 towards his council tax. There is no suggestion of any Mr Woodward's claims broke Parliamentary rules.

According to the Daily Telegraph newspaper, one of Mr Woodward's assistants claimed 38p for a Muller Crunch Corner yoghurt and £1.06 for a pizza from Asda in St Helens in November 2004.

Receipts from an office supplier also reportedly revealed that Mr Woodward has regular orders for Family Circle biscuits, Gold Blend coffee, Tetley tea bags and Diet Coke.

However, although Mr Woodward, 50, whose wife Camilla is a member of the Sainsbury's grocery family, is entitled to a ministerial salary of £141,866, he only draws his MP's salary of £63,291.

He added: "We have an expenses system which is an unmitigated disaster. It has allowed people to do things which, when you hold back and look at it, look terrible. I don't think these people are crooks, I don't think they're bad people, these are good people trying by and large to do a good job, but the system we've got is rotten and has got to go."

An external review into the expenses system is due to be conducted before MPs' expense claims from 2008-2009 are made public this summer

Original Article Courtesy St Helens Reporter

"Urban Legend" Purple Aki Jailed Again

Here is the latest chapter in the Purple Aki story as reported by the BBC.

To find out what all the fuss is about read the Wikipedia article.

For recent newspaper report see our other posts here

A man has been jailed for 18 months for breaking a ban on approaching young men and touching their muscles.

Akinwale Arobieke, 47, formerly of Toxteth, Liverpool, and known as "Purple Aki", was given a Sexual Offences Prevention Order last year.

But two months later he approached a 17-year-old boy and tried to touch his biceps, Liverpool Crown Court was told.

The order was imposed on Arobieke after he was jailed for six years in 2003 for 16 counts of harassment.

His reputation has spread across north-west England where he is known by the nickname "Purple Aki" and is considered by many to be an urban myth, the jury was told.

His latest victim, now aged 18, said he was left feeling "frightened and sick" after Arobieke followed him in Birkenhead in June last year.

He asked the boy how many bench presses he could do.

The boy told the court: "He pointed to my arms and asked if he could see.

"He then lifted his hand towards my biceps and I realised who it was. I backed away and told him I had to go.

"I felt sick and walked away as fast as I could. I went to a friend's house and looked back but he had gone."

Bodybuilder Arobieke had pleaded not guilty.

It was his second breach of the order and his 72nd offence since 1980, the judge was told.