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EXCLUSIVE: Minister McVey’s murky rent affairs hit spotlight

COALITION minister Esther McVey misled Commons expenses chiefs before enthusiastically demanding toughened sanctions on benefit claimants, the Morning Star can reveal.
The employment minister, who has claimed various sums reaching up to £1,830 a month since 2010 for rent, listed two non-existent companies as landlords at the London property she shares with fellow Tory claimant  Philip Davies.
When questioned by a constituent about her property arrangements in 2012, the minister said her landlords were Glover Industries Ltd and Baystar Ventures Ltd. 
In a letter handed to the Star, Ms McVey said she had requested that the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority change their database of MPs’ landlords to match this, from other information she said was incorrect.
But our investigation can reveal that neither Glover Industries Ltd nor Baystar Ventures Ltd existed at the time the letter was penned.
Companies House documents show that dissolved company Glover Industries last filed accounts or a members list in 2001 — nine years before Ms McVey started claiming for her second home.
And Baystar Ventures was operating as Jason Gabriel Ltd by November 2012 — but had not filed accounts for over a year. The company was wound up three months later, in February 2013.
The revelations will come as an embarrassment to Ms McVey, who has become heavily associated with a drive for hardline punishments for minor infractions by benefit claimants.
Over a million welfare recipients had their cash stopped last year — some of whom were punished as a result of clerical errors and even illness.
One young couple were sanctioned after they failed to show at an appointment they had not been informed of. Their address was wrongly recorded.
Another man secured employment, but was sanctioned in the three-week interim period because his jobcentre told him he still needed to apply for other jobs until he started work.
In a patronising rant in November 2013, Ms McVey defended sanctions, suggesting jobcentres knew best for the unemployed.
She told a Commons committee: “What does a teacher do in a school?“A teacher would tell you off or give you lines or whatever it is, detentions, but at the same time they are wanting your best interests.
“They are teaching you, they are educating you but at the same time they will also have the ability to sanction you.”
Last night a Labour shadow cabinet source slammed Ms McVey for “throwing stones when in a very large glass house. “It’s hypocrisy on a grand scale for a minister who is merciless with the poor and who has been authorising sacs often on innocent people,” they said.
“Meanwhile she manifestly appears to believe that different rules apply to herself and the senior Tory ranks.”Ms McVey said last night: “These are more desperate, politically motivated, personal and unfounded smears, designed to mask the fact that the Labour Party has nothing positive to offer the people of Wirral West.
“All of my rent payments are above board and agreed by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.”
She declined to comment on whether the property had ever had any spare bedrooms — which would make her eligible for her own hated bedroom tax if she were a council tenant.

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