Speaker of the House Bronwyn Bishop is in the firing line for chartering a $5000 helicopter ride, but as Chris Calcino write, the UK Parliament has seen far worse.
Speaker of the House Bronwyn Bishop is in the firing line for chartering a $5000 helicopter ride, but as Chris Calcino write, the UK Parliament has seen far worse. Contributed

Strange Politics: Chopper? How about porn and moat cleaning?

WHILE our indignant teeth gnash over Bronwyn Bishop's penchant for helicopter travel, we can take solace in one simple fact.

At least we are not the UK.

Recent history has been a goldmine for British media looking into members of parliament's bizarre expense claims.

A measly $5000 chopper ride sounds almost reasonable compared to some of these whoppers.

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DUCK HOUSE

British politics were rocked by a 2009 scandal in which Conservative MP Sir Peter Viggers claimed $3300 to install a floating "duck island" in his garden pond.

The 1.5m-tall structure modelled on an 18th century building in Sweden was by all accounts tasteful.

LIGHT BULBS

Tory spokesman on skills David Willetts apparently lacked the skills to change a light bulb.

He lodged a $230 claim in 2009 for an electrician to screw in 25 light bulbs at his house.

Over the years, some of his party-mates have claimed for pool cleaning, horse manure and getting a pest controller to remove a mole infestation from a country estate.

ADULT FILMS

Jacqui Smith ended up losing her job over this one, and her husband presumably had a hard time of it as well.

The MP apparently mistakenly lodged a claim for two pornographic movies her husband watched late one night on the adult film channel.

It slipped through the cracks and Smith, who was already under investigation for her expenses, got the sack.

MOAT CLEANING

Conservative MP Douglas Hogg went above and beyond in his 2009 expenses book, with a bizarre $4500 claim to "clear his moat".

The water-filled trench surrounding his country estate needed tidying up, so he thought taxpayers should foot the bill.

Hogg was forced to pay back the money, but still maintained his claims "fell clearly within the scope of the rules".

-APN NEWSDESK



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