LONDON, May 30 (Xinhua) -- British Members of
Parliament (MPs) who claimed for "phantom" mortgages on their expenses should be
investigated and prosecuted, Tory leader David Cameron said on Saturday.
The MPs who had committed a crime with their expenses
claims should "face the full force of the law," Cameron said in an interview
with the Daily Telegraph, the first paper to reveal the expenses scandal.
"I've said it's not for me to call in the police, but
the police know what the law is. And if they feel it's been broken they should
be able to look at that without fear or favor," Cameron said.
Scotland Yard is currently considering whether to
launch criminal inquiries into any potential fraudulent claims.
Cameron's call came as former environment minister,
the Labour Party's Elliot Morley became the latest MP to announce he will not
contest the next general election.
Morley had claimed 16,000 pounds (about 25,000 U.S.
dollars) in mortgage interest payments, 18 months after the mortgage was paid
He has apologized and repaid the money, but blamed
his expenses claims on "sloppy accounting," as opponents urged him to quit
immediately rather than to wait until the next general election.
Morley made his announcement of stepping down on
Friday night, following a meeting with local Labour Party officials at his
He said the pressure had been affecting his family
and his health, and insisted the decision was his own.
Thirteen MPs have announced their intention to step
down since details of the expenses scandal were first published.
Two other MPs of the Labour Party -- David Chaytor
and Ben Chapman -- have also admitted "errors" in claiming for mortgages that
had already been paid off.
Meanwhile, Tory MP Bill Wiggin blamed the Commons
Fees Office for not correcting his repeated "mistake" when he claimed for a
mortgage on his constituency home rather than his second home in London.
Tory MP Humfrey Malins told the Telegraph that he
spent two nights a week in his taxpayer-funded second home in London, in which
his children have stayed rent-free.
Meanwhile, a Populus poll in Saturday's Times
newspaper provided gloomy reading for Prime Minister Gordon Brown, with the
Labour Party at its lowest-ever national rating following the exposure of the
According to the poll conducted on May 26-27 on a
sample of 1,001 adults, the Labour Party trailed in third place after the UK
Independence Party, with just 16 percent of respondents prepared to vote for
Labour in next week's European elections.