Website set up to force out Preston MP Mark Hendrick

The website includes a disclosure about how the person behind the website is and their political history

The website includes a disclosure about how the person behind the website is and their political history

A Fulwood resident has set up a website requesting that Mark Hendrick, the current MP for Preston, step down or not contest the next election after the revealing of his claims for expenses.

The website – markhendrickmustgo.org.uk – states that Hendrick is

yet to justify himself to the public

and

we want an MP who will work hard and effectively on behalf of the people of Preston, someone who has their own mind and uses it, and who has the integrity and moral courage to stand by their beliefs. We think that it must to be someone who can show they opposed the war on Iraq for, whilst we accept that others may disagree, that is our personal test of integrity

Details of Hendrick’s expenses came out in the Lancashire Evening Post last week:

MP Mark Hendrick paid back almost £7,000 after he claimed mortgage interest payments for BOTH his Preston and London homes on his taxpayer-funded expenses.

He revealed that between April 2007 and March 2008 he overclaimed £6,850.52 in mortgage interest payments on his second home allowance.

It will be interesting to see if this kind of website can have an impact in the next general election – whenever that may be.

If you’d like to quiz Mark Hendrick yourself about his expenses or ask him about any other issue, his next ‘MP Surgery’ is on Saturday 6th June 2009 from 11 AM – 1 PM at UCLan Students’ Union, Fylde Road, Preston.

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Preston MP’s expenses

No duck houses here, Preston's MP hasn't faced the spotlight over his expenses....yet

No duck houses here, Preston's MP hasn't faced the spotlight over his expenses....yet

With the continuing saga over MP’s expenses I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the expenses claimed for in 2007/2008 by Mark Hendrick, MP for Preston.

Overall he claimed a total of £140,443. For what? Well, here’s how it breaks down:

£16,226 went on a second home allowance, £19,528 on office expenses, £77,544 on staffing, £477 on central stationery, £360 on stationery and postage, £1,296 for IT, £9,469 for comms, £15,543 for travel.

Compared to other MPs then Mr Hendrick appears good value for money, he’s about just over half-way between the most expensive and the cheapest – 412th cheapest out of 646 MPs whose figures are available.

When ranking the table on each expense, Hendrick is nowhere near the top. Apart from for travel where he’s just outside the top 100 most expensive.

Now, in April 2007 a motion went through Parliament to attempt to make MP’s expenses exempt from Freedom of Information disclosure. This was defeated, but it wasn’t Mark Hendrick who was on the side of rejecting it. He wasn’t there, as his voting record reveals. But he does have an 81.2% attendance during this Parliament, which is above average for an MP.

I suppose the big question is, do the electorate feel he’s value for money? We shall see at the next general election – whenever that may be.

You can view MPs expenses on the BBC website, which includes a rankable table.