VVD MP stands down pending expenses claim investigation politics February 19, 2015  

POSTED: 02/24/15 1:40 AM

St. Maarten – A parliamentarian for the right-wing Liberal VVD has step down temporarily until a party inquiry into his integrity has been completed. Mark Verheijen is at the centre of allegations that he wrongly declared thousands of euros of private and campaign expenses while serving as a Limburg provincial councillor. In addition, a local businessman on Thursday made formal allegations of corruption against the MP. Verheijen has also pledged to refund his parliamentary pay while the investigation is carried out, the NRC reports. One questionable expenses claim centres on a dinner at a restaurant in Amsterdam which included bottles of wine costing €127. Verheijen charged 25% of the bill – €657.75 – to the province, the NRC says. Two weeks Verheijen has admitted making a number of wrongful claims and has promised to repay the money. The committee investigating the claims is expected to report back in two weeks. The initial revelations in the NRC were described by Prime Minister Mark Rutte as ‘blown up’, while party leader Halbe Zijlstra said in an article it was an attempt to damage Verheijen. The MP has now decided to temporarily stand down because of the corruption allegations, a party spokesman told the NRC.

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