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Labour MP tells of bribe offers

Shadow minister Stephen Pound is frequently offered bribes by constituents, he has revealed after being quizzed while hooked up to a lie detector.

The Labour MP agreed to take a polygraph test for a radio programme examining why politicians struggle to say publicly what they really think.

Pressed on whether he had ever knowingly submitted parliamentary expense claims that were outside the rules he replied "never" and was judged to be telling the truth.

The Shadow Northern Ireland Minister also "passed" when he denied ever discussing with colleagues whether Ed Miliband was right to lead the party.

But asked if he had been offered kickbacks Mr Pound admitted it happened regularly although he had "never" accepted any bribe, adding: "For all I know, they could be setting me up."

He told Beyond Westminster on BBC Radio 4 that he had been asked "to fiddle housing allocations and school admissions" by constituents. Over the last decade he had been offered between £50 and £200 "about 10 times".

The MP for Ealing North said: "I have never had a conversation criticising Ed Miliband in that way. I have never claimed expenses outside the rules.

"However, I have frequently, frequently, been asked to bend the rules, however, whether it's the law or bylaws is ... I'm not trying to be obscure."

When offered cash he explains to constituents "very, very carefully that I can't do that".

He added: "It will do them no favours. It's not going to actually advance the cause in any way. And for all I know, they could be setting me up."


From Belfast Telegraph