GRAHAM STRINGER - …The Good, The Bad, The Very Interesting
Value For Money Rating: 8 out of 10
Expenses scandal was a Daily Telegraph conspiracy
Graham Stringer told an audience at the University of Salford last December that the Daily Telegraph's expose of MPs expenses was politically motivated, pointing out that MPs who were targeted were either "Labour MPs in marginal seats" or "Conservative MPs who aren't popular with the party hierarchy".
He added: "I am not saying MPs haven't broken the rules and that some people haven't made bad judgements. But what people are most worried about is the economy and immigration, and that is something that the Government needs to address."
It's an interesting point but the MPs who are standing for election on Thursday will be representing Salford people and their expenses give an insight into whether they are fit to be the face of our city. So, Graham Stringer and your expenses, come on down…
Graham Stringer doesn't have a second home, nor does he claim for Council Tax, bed linen, cleaning, duck houses or anything else. What did surprise us was the amount of almost £20,000 claimed for hotels and food in the year 2008-9, a total of 39 claims. Also in there is a very strange claim for £400 mortgage or rent payments in November 2008, on top of a £760.46 hotel bill.
To his credit, Graham Stringer doesn't claim for his mini-bar Pringles and drinks but did spend £370 for a one night stay in a hotel on 21st July 2008, which seems a bit excessive. He also tried to claim for a double room costing £356 for one night in April last year but got knocked back by the fees office and could only claim the single fee of £309 for an `executive room'. Still seems excessive.
For his office, Graham Stringer goes to IKEA and in 2004 spent £178 on five chairs. Compare this to Hazel Blears who managed to spend over £1000 on three chairs for her office. In total Graham Stringer has spent under £500 doing up his office since 2004 – Hazel Blears spent over £4000.
Most extravagant claim: £38.98 for a Polaroid camera and film (don't ask!)
GRAHAM STRINGER: Expenses value for money rating 8 out of 10 – let down by luxury hotels and claiming personal accountancy on the taxpayers; but gains an extra point by not claiming for Pringles.
* you can see all of Graham Stringer's expenses claims here
**For a full list of candidates standing in Blackley and Broughton see here