Ply­mouth MP fac­ing sec­ond in­ves­ti­ga­tion

Western Morning News (Saturday) - - Uk And World News -

Ply­mouth MP Johnny Mercer is fac­ing a sec­ond par­lia­men­tary in­ves­ti­ga­tion into his ex­penses and busi­ness costs.

Mr Mercer, the Con­ser­va­tive MP for Ply­mouth Moor View was al­ready un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion over a sim­i­lar com­plaint by a mem­ber of the pub­lic, which was lodged in Novem­ber 2017. The com­pli­ance of­fi­cer for the In­de­pen­dent Par­lia­men­tary Stan­dards Author­ity (IPSA) is in­ves­ti­gat­ing a com­plaint about Mr Mercer’s “web­site use and other ‘e-pres­ence’.”

The sec­ond com­plaint, made in June this year, is over “costs in re­spect of web­site use and other ‘ e-pres­ence’, tele­phony costs and use of do­main names”.

Mr Mercer told the WMN: “I have been un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion since the day I was elected in Ply­mouth, by po­lice, lawyers act­ing on be­half of Labour Party mem­bers in our city, the Elec­toral Com­mis­sion and IPSA Com­pli­ance – all ini­ti­ated by po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents in the city who still can­not be­lieve I have won ‘their’ seat.

“None of these has re­sulted in any ac­tion. I have al­ways wel­comed in­ves­ti­ga­tions, and be­lieve elected of­fi­cials should be held to the high­est stan­dards. How­ever the bit­ter­ness of my op­po­nents has wasted tens of thou­sands of pounds of pub­lic money, wasted hours of po­lice, court and pub­lic of­fi­cials time, for what?

“One day I will speak openly about the sheer nas­ti­ness of a lot of the peo­ple in­volved in pol­i­tics lo­cally, who main­tain an en­tirely false fa­cade of de­cency when try­ing to win votes.”

In 2016 Mr Mercer suc­cess­fully de­fended his use of par­lia­men­tary ex­penses to build his so­cial me­dia pro­file and cre­ate a new web­site.

He ar­gued that so­cial me­dia was an es­sen­tial part of com­mu­ni­ca­tion and it was im­por­tant to have a web­site which was “ac­ces­si­ble”, and re­flected so­ci­ety’s in­creas­ingly dig­i­tal habits.

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