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MP expenses will cost Brown the next election

GORDON Brown has been warned he will lose the next General Election because of the scandal of MP expenses.

New Labour Party internal polling shows the public are completely SICK of MPs twisting the rules over their allowances to claim tens of thousands of pounds.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith’s claim that her sister’s London terraced house is her main home, her husband’s porn claim on expenses and Jobs Minister Tony McNulty’s £11,000 for a house where his parents live have ENDED any hopes of a Labour victory.

And they blame GORDON BROWN, not the MPs, for his failure to crack down on the scandal.

The internal polling - based on polls and focus groups carried out over the past two weeks - are grim reading.

They show:

* Labour CANNOT win the next General Election.

* Voters think Labour are now SLEAZIER than the Tories.

* Even if Brown fixes the economy, voters still don’t want another Labour government.

One senior Labour insider told the News of the World: “This is an awful toxic mix for us. The research shows we have lost the one advantage we had over the Tories.

“People always thought Labour stood for helping other people, for social justice, while the Tories stood for self interest.

“Now they think we are sleazier than the Tories.”

Amazingly, the polling also revealed the MP expenses scandal was more damaging than the Damian McBride scandal, where Brown’s top advisor was forced to quit after plotting to smear Tories via a website.

Voters were asked for the main reason they no longer supported Labour - the expenses scandal, McBride, the Economy, Afghanistan or Brown’s leadership style.

They told researchers their top problem was expenses, followed by Brown’s leadership, then the economy and McBride.

Afghanistan was not seen as a reason not to back Brown.

The research was shown to Brown at the start of the week.

And that is why the PM rushed out his plan to replace MPs expenses with a £150 a day allowance for turning up to work.

But that plan backfired spectacularly. The Tories and Lib Dems rejected them and Brown has been warned his own MPs will rebel if he forces a vote on them on Thursday.

Since Wednesday, over 7,000 ,people have signed a petition on the Downing St website calling for Mr Brown to resign.

And a new You Gov Poll, out today, shows Labour are now 18 points behind the Tories - giving the Conservatives a potential majority of at 150 seats in a General Election.

A quarter of uncommitted voters say they are less likely to back Brown after last week’s Budget. Less than one in 10 believe Government claims the economy will start to recover next year.

And speaking at the Conservative Spring Forum today, David Cameron will try to ram home his advantage, saying “Labour are spent.”

He will add: “We need a complete change of direction, and that’s what the election must bring.

“I’m not just talking about changing one set of Ministers for another ... I’m talking about a whole new approach to the way this country is done.”

Cameron will promise to cut the £93m paid by taxpayers for MPs’ expenses.

And he will add: “With a Conservative government, if ministers want to impress the boss, they’ll have to make their budgets smaller, not bigger.

“On my watch it will be simple: if you do more for less you get promoted; if you do less for more, you get sacked.

“With such huge sums of public money at stake a Conservative government will make sure we have the professional financial controls the taxpayer has a right to expect, but which are just not there under Labour.

“This is also why I have insisted that the much needed reform of MPs pay and expenses must be cheaper for the tax payer."



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