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Immigration Minister hits back over expenses claims | Immigration Matters

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Immigration Minister Phil Woolas and Labour MP for Luton Margaret Moran have been defending their expenses claims after more details were published in the Daily Telegraph. 

Phil Woolas has threatened legal action over “disgusting” allegations he claimed for women’s clothing, nappies and comics. 

The Minister claims nappies and women’s clothing were listed on a receipt for food which he submitted, but he did not receive any money for them. 

Margaret Moran, the Labour MP for Luton, is alleged to have claimed more than £20,000 for a house in Southampton 100 miles from her constituency. 

But she told the BBC the report was “inaccurate” and “probably actionable”. 

The beleaguered Border and Immigration Minister has been under fire recently over the Gurkhas debacle after the Government lost a vote in Parliament forcing a rethink on its policy.

Last Thursday Mr Woolas was ambushed by Gurkhas campaigner Joanna Lumley.

Woolas was railroaded by the former Avengers actress into making a public statement, committing the Government to take action, in front of millions of BBC viewers. 

A number of other Ministers and MP’s have been named in the media over extravagant expenses claims including the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and former Immigration Minister Tony McNulty. 

Speculation is rife that Jacqui Smith will be demoted by Prime Minister Gordon Brown in a Summer cabinet reshuffle after the local and European elections in June. 

The Home Secretary or Secretary of State for the Home Department, is in charge of the Home Office, which covers: crime, security, counter-terrorism, civil emergencies and immigration. 

The position, one of the highest in the land, been vacated in controversial circumstances by a number of Jacqui Smith’s predecessors. 

David Blunkett quit the post in December 2004, after it emerged that he had fast-tracked a passport application for his ex-lover’s Filipina nanny.

His successor Charles Clarke was forced to resign two years later following the “escaped foreign prisoners scandal. 

Political heavyweight and tough talking John Reid took control of the Home Office famously remarking that it was not “fit for purpose”.

He quickly brought in reforms leading to the formation of the UK Border Agency, but resigned in 2007 to return to the back benches and was replaced by Jacqui Smith.

Jacqui Smith is currently the subject of an investigation into her ‘second home’ expenses and her husband’s (who is also her paid assistant) claim for renting a porn movie.

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