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Michael Jack MP comments on the MP Expenses Scandal

Date: 29-05-2009

According to the Lytham St Annes Express newspaper, Fylde MP Michael Jack maintains he has done nothing wrong, after it was reported he used public money to learn a foreign language.
As part of the ongoing expenses scandal, one national newspaper reported the Tory MP learned Italian at the taxpayers' expense.

It is claimed Mr Jack, who is due to stand down at the next election, was taking private lessons in his Westminster office as part of a Parliamentary package offered to MPs.

But he told The Express he was doing nothing wrong as the package was voted through by the House of Commons eight years ago.

He added: "In 2001 the House voted through a package which allowed a number of MPs to learn another language as part of a personal development scheme.

"Let me make this clear, this allegation has nothing to do with the present MPs' expenses scandal as it was a package voted through by the House in accordance with the guidelines in place at the time.

"This money has been used by a number of MPs to learn a foreign language so they can enhance their personal development so, as far as I'm concerned, I have done nothing wrong."

Mr Jack is thought to be one of 22 members who took part in the scheme and received lessons in a second language.

As well as his duties as Fylde MP, Mr Jack also owns a second home in Tuscany and has said he plans to retire to the Italian resort once he steps down from his role at the next election.

Several months ago Mr Jack revealed his expenses claims amounted to around £2.50 per head of population in the constituency he represents.

He added: "This money was set aside by Parliament and used in accordance with the correct procedures. I wanted to take advantage of this scheme so I decided to sign up to it."

"The good folk on the Fylde Coast expect the highest standards from their MP and let's hope Michael Jack's version of events is an accurate one" Mark Mills commented.

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