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Smell of scandal.

POLITICS is in a complete mess and the General Election just cannot come quick enough.

Labour's chief whip and Minister for the North East Nick Brown acted decisively to suspend his fellow regional MP Stephen Byers and his former cabinet colleagues Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt from the Parliamentary party after allegations they were prepared to use their positions to influence Government policy for cash.

At the same time a number of other MPs stand accused of breaking Commons rules by failing fully to declare luxury trips paid for by foreign governments.

The smell of sleaze will just not go away and with the General Election set for May more muck-raking is inevitable.

The arrogant behaviour of some of those elected to serve us through these latest revelations and the expenses scandal does little to promote confidence among voters.

And it totally overshadows the hard work done by the vast majority of MPs who serve their constituents well.

The election must prove a watershed and whoever forms the next Government has to somehow ensure a code of conduct and standards which are fair and adhered to with appropriate sanctions against any MP who oversteps the mark.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 23, 2010
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