Austin Mitchell MP


(picture shamelessly filched from Austin Mitchell’s site.)

My local MP is Austin Mitchell, well known for his humourous remarks on many a chat/quiz show, and for being a politician of long standing (he’s old, at least 100 or so).

So how did he come out of the expenses affair, so badly played out by the ukipgraph? Well, not too bad, a few duff expenses, like branston pickle, and some blinds which he wanted but got turned down for, there was also a hefty reupholstery bill for some furniture. In general he didnt come across as an ascetic, but neither did he come across as too grasping, probably just like a normal guy I suppose.

However, to his enormous credit, the one thing he did do which was very funny indeed, was write a letter to the barclaygraph which really took the cheese out of their mouse trap, I should have mentioned it ages ago, but the article is worth a read now here – and if you cant be bothered to click through, then here’s how it ends, on the subject of the upholstery:

The veteran MP also defended his £1,200 claim for re-upholstering sofas.

The 20-year-old sofa covers were “stained with Branston pickle, whisky, and gin” and he needed them cleaned so he could impress senior Labour figures like Peter Mandelson or Neil Kinnock if they came round, he noted.

Mr Mitchell, 74, said it had been necessary for him to have the sofas re upholstered hundreds of miles away in Yorkshire “because everything is cheaper and better there”.

He even claimed that his approach was more environmentally friendly that buying new furniture, speculating that it could win him an eco award.

However in recompense for any misunderstanding over the incident he offered to donate the sofa covers to the Daily Telegraph for its offices.

“I’m sorry I can’t comment further as I’m off to a seminar on ‘Cleaning and Maintaining your Moat’,” he concluded.


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