Who deleted expenses diary of Mr Pooter?
PUBLISHED: 22:44, 28 April 2013 | UPDATED: 23:13, 28 April 2013
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Convenient: It seems that Sir Merrick Cockell has had his online biography on Wikipedia edited - to remove references to his legendary expenses
Westminster has been awash with speculation over who edited the Wikipedia entry of rising Labour star Chuka Umunna to include comparisons with President Obama.
Apparently the changes, designed to flatter the Shadow Business Secretary, were made from a computer at the very law firm where he was working before he became an MP in 2010. A coincidence, of course.
Now it seems Britain’s highest-paid councillor, the pompous Sir Merrick Cockell, has also had his online biography edited — to remove references to his legendary expenses.
Cockell, the leader of true-blue Conservative Kensington & Chelsea Council, is also chairman of the Local Government Association, on a combined salary for both jobs of £120,000. My mole at his town hall tells me that on March 25 the list of his expenses was taken off his Wikipedia entry by someone calling themselves ed17.
Conveniently, his many enemies kept a copy of the deleted words. It shows he spent £59.74 on a taxi from Heathrow Airport to the town hall and £129.53 on lunch with two people. His nickname, Pooter, which he hates, also vanished along with an article giving more details about his spending.
He lavished £60,000 on a Head of Office, and £40,000 on his PA; £115,000 on a Bentley with the number plate RBKC, which Cockell used to use to save on taxi fares; and £800,000 on creating four ceremonial roles, including a mace bearer, and decking their holders out in ruffs and silk coats.
Cockell is standing down as leader in May. Let’s hope his successor tries to save taxpayers’ money, rather than squandering it on vanity projects.