Burnham MP hits back over newspaper allegations
MP has hit back at a national Sunday newspaper which claimed she
faces police action after falsely claiming a council tax discount
while sharing her house with a BBC DJ.
Mail On Sunday reported
that Tessa Munt is locked in a row with Sedgemoor District Council
after staff accused her of pretending to be a 'single occupant'
even though BBC broadcaster Andy Kershaw and a GP were living
tax rates are based on at least two adults living in a property,
therefore if a person says they live alone, the bill is reduced
by a quarter.
newspaper says that its investigation discovered that Mr Kershaw
was registered to vote at her house near Highbridge at a time
when he was "on the run from authorities" on the Isle
of Man over a broken restraining order. Tessa also offered GP
John Laband 'a place to stay' briefly when his wife was filing
talking to Burnham-On-Sea.com on Sunday afternoon, Tessa said
she has done nothing wrong.
added: "Every autumn Sedgemoor District Council carries out
a comparison of its council tax register and its electoral register
- and that's when my situation came to light. I fully support
Sedgemoor doing this check and it's right that they follow up
any cases where the two don't match up."
MP added: "It's important to realise here that if someone
visits your house they don't live there. I have known Andy as
a good friend for over 10 years and in the autumn of 2008 he visited
me from the Isle Of Man, bringing his backpack and dog with him.
He went off to visit friends in Liverpool and Derbyshire while
I looked after his dog during that period."
having someone else's dog living with me does not mean I have
to pay council tax for it too? I also had a doctor, John Laband,
stay here briefly during his divorce, but I am alone in my house
and do not have anyone else living with me."
matter has been complicated by the fact that Andy Kershaw is registered
to vote from my home because he lives in the Isle Of Man, which
is not a UK address. Under electoral rules, anyone can live abroad
and have a UK address to vote for 15 years."
Tessa said that the newspaper's claim that she is "furious"
about the situation is untrue.
not furious because I haven't done anything wrong, but I am unhappy
that the Daily Mail has knocked on the doors of all my
neighbours and contacted my family in its attempt to create a
added that she is unaware of any police action outstanding against
her. "There is no police action pending or underway in any
way and I have confirmed this with Avon and Somerset Constabulary,"
she told Burnham-On-Sea.com.
added that she has "fully co-operated" with the council
and that they are "correctly doing their job to investigate
spokeswoman Claire Faun told Burnham-On-Sea.com on Sunday morning:
"Due to our obligations under the Data Protection Act, we
cannot say anything about individual cases."