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Former Environment Minister to stand down as MP

The expenses scandal claimed another head when former Environment Minister Elliot Morley announced last week that he will stand down at the next general election.

Morley was Environment Minister from 2003 to 2006 and played a key role in forming the Waste Strategy for England. During his tenure Morley gave power to the Environment Agency to tackle fly-tippers, he brought in the Hazardous Waste Regulations 2004 and set out plans for the UK to move away from landfill.

Under his leadership, regulation was created that meant hazardous and non-hazardous waste could no longer be dumped in the same place. He told the BBC (16 July 2004): I want this country to end its 'dump and forget' culture. The public and industry alike need to understand that we cannot continue to dump hazardous waste in holes in the ground."

Morley has pushed strongly for a series of environmental causes including tackling climate change and creating sustainable communities. Morely is currently Chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee.

Morley had claimed for mortgage interest payments of £16,000 18 months after the mortgage was paid off. He has apologised and repaid the money, blaming sloppy accounting.
In his resignation statement, the Labour MP for Scunthorpe said he made a genuine mistake over my expenses.

He added: I have never tried to duck responsibility for my mistake and I have repaid the amount in full. I do understand peoples anger over the whole issue of MPs expenses and their frustration.

For those who condemn me I would simply ask to be allowed the opportunity to present my case. For those who have supported me, particularly those who have urged me not to stand down, Id like to thank them for their support and would ask them to give that backing to my successor.

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