Letter: MP’s property sales and rentals – no profits?

On The Wight reader, Don Smith, questions Andrew Turner’s comments in relation to MP’s expenses

Money and house

We always welcome a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers. This one from Don Smith on the subject of MP’s expenses in response to an article in the County Press. Ed

MP Andrew Turner writes in the County Press that he’s not making any profit (CP 16.1.12).

I thought he was an ex-teacher on the mainland; he came over to the Isle of Wight at the invitation of the Isle of Wight Conservative party, and lived in a flat in Cowes (which he now rents out).

He eventually won the Isle of Wight seat and became the Island’s MP.

Several properties?
He still owns the flat in Cowes, a house in Newport; use of two flats in London; yet he still maintains there has been no profit.

Why does he need two properties on the Isle of Wight and the use of two properties in London? I wonder what will be the next to be added to his property portfolio?

What troubles me is when Andrew eventually ceases to be our MP, and that day will come one day. Does that mean the tax payer will have to start forking it out all over again for the new MP?

No profit? Andrew, please, stop taking your electorate for fools.

Image: © Tax Brackets

Monday, 19th November, 2012 6:08pm


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Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.


  1. Good point, Don. As Abraham Lincoln said so succinctly: “You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”

  2. are you certain the taxpayer has paid for all those properties? what are the figures? what has Turner actually claimed in expenses for those properties mortgages?

    Theres absolutely no reason he shouldnt make a profit if he has paid for the properties from his salary. However, if he has paid for the properties from expenses, he should sell the properties and repay the lot.

  3. steephilljack

    19.Nov.2012 7:54pm

    When people work and earn a salary they may be able to get a mortgage and buy somewhere to live. If they stay in work, have kids and keep working hard, they may be able to retire without a mortgage to pay off.
    Andrew Turner gets a good salary, and I would allow him a home on the Island plus somewhere near Westminster which he can claim on expenses.
    His income from the rents on the properties he owns must be substantial, and their capital value will keep him going comfortably when he retires.
    This pleading about “not making a profit” is pathetic and deeply insulting to the majority of us who struggle to cope with the financial shambles that is not of our making and beyond the ability of our government to resolve.

  4. Andrew has always informed us that everything he does is ‘Within the Rules’. Their rules, they are all in it together. Those who allow and interpret the rules and those who use these rules to their full potential, bordering on fraud.

    Four homes and milking the tax payer is morally wrong, whether it is within the rules are not. Time for change before MPs and Peers own the whole of London.

    If, and I strongly suspect that Andrew is is line for a peerage; let’s hope that those at the islands Conservative Party ignore Tory Central Office and select a local islander to represent us.

    Personally I’d love to see an Independent winning the seat, but that is not being realistic. If a blue donkey stood for the island seat, I’m afraid it would get elected.

  5. I’ve never voted Conservative, but you have to be fair when making comments.

    First of all, an MP’s salary is rather modest for what they have to do. There are several civil servants in County Hall and Seaclose whose salaries far exceed that of Andrew Turner – his basic salary is about a third of what we pay Steve Beynon.

    Secondly, steephilljack’s comment that “his income from the rents on the properties he owns must be substantial and their capital value will keep him going comfortably when he retires” is gratuitously untrue. He doesn’t own properties in London, and rents out one flat in Cowes – the rent from that over a year is hardly likely to be “substantial”. There are hundreds (possibly thousands) of Island residents who have a second property on the Island (or elsewhere) from which they receive a supplementary income. It’s no big deal.

    My inclination would be to stop sniping at Andrew Turner, who is a decent enough guy, and does his best for his constituents. The real target should be the gnomes and freeloaders in County Hall who are destroying the services, facilities and the infrastructure that belong to all of us. To his credit, Andrew Turner knows what they are doing and is at loggerheads with them a lot of the time.

    • steephilljack

      20.Nov.2012 6:03pm

      Watchdog, if you read County Press 16/11/12 p.7 you will see that our MP rents out properties that he owns in Cowes and in Kennington. He claims expenses for renting a flat in Victoria and owns another home in Newport. I would think that rent income from two properties would be substantial.
      Most people pay their rent or their mortgage from their salary with no chance of claiming it back.

      • Some 40 years ago, when I was heading up a department, I appointed a person whom I knew to be homosexual. At the time, this sort of thing was frowned upon, though not illegal. Some time afterwards, my immediate superior called me up and said did I know that my recent appointment was homosexual. I said, Yes Jack, I know, but that is a private matter and I don’t think it has any relevance to the job he is being asked to do – and the matter was quietly dropped.

        As to the question of our MP’s real estate, I’m sorry that I haven’t read the County Press in 3 weeks (though it’s been in the house for others) so I missed the item referred to. I therefore apologise for not knowing about the Kennington ownership. But I would say “So what ?”.

        Clearly our MP needs a principal residence, which is in his constituency at Newport. He is also entitled, by the nature of his job, to paid accommodation at his place of work. Anything else is his private matter, and I don’t see that it is any of our business how he has acquired two properties which he is able to rent out, and on which he presumably pays regular income tax (and possibly council tax). This is, in my view, a private matter completely irrelevant to his performance in his job, and I believe it is mean-minded to try to denigrate him on the basis of some supplemental income.

        • He can have dozen properties just as long as the tax payer is not paying for them – Which is the case in this instance.

          Search out your CP and read the article, them you might just know what you’re talking about.

          Denigrate? He’s done this himself.

  6. Does the title Honourable Member of Parliament sit comfortably with Andrew Turner? I ask as he is one of a handful of the 650 members in the House, who owns somewhere to live in London and yet chooses to be a tenant in another flat paid for by taxpayers, which is a shameful breach of the spirit of the rules.
    The fact that he (or his partner, Carole Dennett) also failed to disclose that the flat he rents is owned by the wife of a fellow Tory and a junior minister (a Lord and not an MP, if you want to split hairs) just adds to the perception of murky deals, which are best kept under wraps.
    The squeaky-clean image so cleverly spun since 2001 is beginning to unravel Mr Turner. So why not just do the honourable thing and move back into the flat you own and we will pretend this never happened?

  7. Don Smith

    21.Nov.2012 7:16pm

    “I rent a flat in London which is owned by Lady Hill who is the wife of a Minister in the House of Lords.”

    Minister of the House of Parliament or the House of Lords – Not a great deal of difference mi thinks!

    It is time that these rules were changed, because those implementing these rules and those using these rules to their benefit, are [all] in it together.

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