Welwyn villager leads probe into MP's expenses

A WELWYN man is investigating the expenses claims of a Government minister who stepped down on Friday following a newspaper expose. Sir Philip Mawer is looking into reports that former justice minister Shahid Malik failed to declare a subsidised rent on

A WELWYN man is investigating the expenses claims of a Government minister who stepped down on Friday following a newspaper expose.

Sir Philip Mawer is looking into reports that former justice minister Shahid Malik failed to declare a subsidised rent on his family home in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.

In his capacity as the Prime Minister's independent adviser on ministerial interests, Sir Philip will produce a report on the claims, which surfaced in the Daily Telegraph last week.

The report into Mr Malik, who denies breaching the ministerial code, is expected in days as Gordon Brown attempts to draw a line under the expenses row which has seriously undermined the moral authority of Parliament over the last fortnight.

Before taking up his current post in January 2008, Sir Philip, of Welwyn, formerly served as the Parliamentary commissioner for standards.

During nearly six years in the role, he investigated a number of complaints about MPs, including high-profile investigations into the affairs of former Home Secretary David Blunkett and Respect MP George Galloway.

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The 61-year-old also worked as principal private secretary to former Conservative home secretary Douglas Hurd during the '80s.

He is also a founding trustee of the Foundation for Church Leadership and a non-executive director of Ecclesiastical Insurance.

Sir Philip was educated at Hull Grammar School and Edinburgh University.

He is married to Ann, a consultant anaesthetist, and has three children.

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