Plymouth MP facing second investigation
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.