ConservativeHome can reveal that MPs re-standing in Labour’s fifty most marginal seats increased their spending
on taxpayer-funded postage by 35% in the year before the 2005
election only to reduce it by 22% in the year after. On
average they spent £6,091 each – the equivalent of 25,380 letters sent
by second class mail.
This comes after they voted themselves an extra £10,000 for "communicating with their constituents", further strengthening the incumbency factor. Theresa May commented on the figures, uncovered by Party researchers:
"Gordon Brown wants to legislate to prevent other parties from
campaigning in marginal seats, but leave his own MPs to their own
devices. Not content with trade union donations and their new £10,000
Communications Allowance, Labour’s marginal MPs have been spending a
small fortune of taxpayers’ money on free postage. Instead of trying to fix the rules to gerrymander the next election,
Gordon Brown should reform the system of allowances so that the public
have faith that MPs are spending taxpayers’ money appropriately."
Notable examples include Home Secretary Jacqui Smith who increased her spending by 69% in election year, Schools Minister Jim Knight who defended Labour’s most
marginal seat by increasing his spending by 50%, and Linda Perham, the MP for Ilford North, who increased her spending by a whopping 338%.