Remember that time you stayed at your good mates house for £165.50 a night? Yeah, me neither. But according to Baroness Warsi, that’s exactly what happened. In the newest expense scandal, Baroness Warsi has been accused of falsely claiming over £2000 of taxpayers money to stay at a friends flat when she was in fact staying there rent free. So we all thought the expense scandal was history? Thought the politicians had cleaned up their act? Well so did the Tories. But it seems politicians just can’t help but be tempted by the allure of tax payers money. Now; as much as I have total faith in mankind’s capacity to tell the truth, and would very much like to believe that politicians share this capacity; I-and many others-find it hard to believe that Warsi’s friend Naweed Khan- a political advisor-would ask her to make what Warsi claimed was “appropriate financial payment” to stay at his home for just a few nights a week.
And I thought Warsi was one of the honest ones.
If we are to be completely fair to Warsi however, the claim does come from Dr Wafik Moustafa, the owner of the property- who just happens to be in a political dispute with Warsi concerning the Conservative Arab Network (and it’s not like every other politician hasn’t dipped their sticky fingers into the public purse, is it?)Are you keeping up? For the conservatives this is a mess. For Warsi a public embarrassment, for most of the Uk it’s just plain confusion; but guilty until proven innocent, most of us think she’s scrounged public money. Is this just a disgruntled Political opponent trying to discredit the Baroness or has Warsi really been scamming the taxpayers? The accusations are blurred, but there have been calls made for Warsi to step down, at least until the investigation has been completed. It’s difficult to tell how bad this is going to get for Warsi.
For Warsi, the only thing she can do to save face right now is back the investigation into the accusations and hope that she comes up clean. After poor local election results Warsi is already in a less than rubbish position to be pulling in favours from her Tory colleagues. Despite this it is widely believed that Warsi will survive a party reshuffle later this year. Many, including a Daily Mail journalist- believe this is because she symbolises “the public face of a Conservative Party modernised and reformed by David Cameron.” in essence she’s female, muslim, and a mother. but is that enough? Is what she represents enough to compesate for her incompetences? Could this expenses scandal be so politically damaging, Cameron has to say goodbye, au revoir, laters, to his hand picked A-list party member.
So far, everyone’s downplayed the importance of the allegations. It seems like nobody really wants to admit that after all this time, the damaging affect of the expense scandal is just not going to go away so easily. It’s embarrassing, but more than that, it’s discrediting to a party that’s done so much to distance itself from the scandal. Only time will tell if public trust in politicians can be restored, and whether Baroness Warsi will survive the onslaught.