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Lib Dems slam expenses shame MP’s new role

PUBLISHED: 15:55 05 November 2009 | UPDATED: 14:46 24 August 2010

LIB Dems have blasted the promotion of a Labour MP embroiled in the recent expenses scandal to the government s cabinet office. Dawn Butler, MP for Brent South, was appointed as the Minister for Young Citizens and Youth Engagement on Friday last week, a n

LIB Dems have blasted the promotion of a Labour MP embroiled in the recent expenses scandal to the government's cabinet office.

Dawn Butler, MP for Brent South, was appointed as the Minister for Young Citizens and Youth Engagement on Friday last week, a newly created role which will give her a wider remit of responsibilities geared towards increasing young people's engagement in politics.

However, Brent Lib Dems have slammed the appointment, who came under fire when a leaked Whitehall dossier revealed that she had overclaimed more than £2,600 in rent expenses and installed a whirlpool bath in her second home.

Cllr Daniel Bessong, Wembley Central ward, said: "People don't trust politicians because of the sickening behaviour of Labour MPs like Dawn Butler, who took tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money to fund a second London home.

"The contempt for ordinary people that Dawn Butler revealed when she made lavish expenses claims makes her completely the wrong person to do a job engaging people with politics.

"The best way for Dawn Butler to re-engage people would be to apologise for abusing the system and volunteer to pay back the money she has taken."

A number of Ms Butler's supporters have rushed to her defence, pointing to the MP's distinguished record of working with young people in the borough.

Rev Ron Herbert of St Michael and All Angels Church in Hillside, Stonebridge, said: "Dawn has been a great asset to young people in the constituency and there is no doubt that this will be translated across the country."

UK Youth Parliament chief executive, Andy Hamflett, added: "We can't wait to work with Dawn, I can't think of anyone I'd rather have to work with on youth issues."

Ms Butler said: "A quarter of Brent's residents are under the age of 19, we have one of the youngest constituencies in the UK and I have worked tirelessly to give them a voice and represent them in Parliament.

"I am delighted to take on this historic role and represent young people across the country. I thank everyone who has wished me well in this role.

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