Politician's X-Rated Expenses Rile Brits

Just when the worlds' attention is focused on London, what the host doesn't want is a domestic scandal - especially one that involves the cabinet minister in charge of homeland security and the police, reports CBS News correspondent Sheila MacVicar.

Too late.

When Home Secretary Jacqui Smith was revealed to have billed taxpayers for two "adult movies" it set off a huge storm of public anger and calls for her scalp.

"Home Secretary, how embarrassing is this?" asked one journalist outside her home.

It was Smith's husband, also her paid assistant, who apparently watched the films and submitted the expense claim.

"I am really sorry for any embarrassment I have caused Jacqui," her husband Richard Timney said.

The British porn star who appeared in one of the films summed up the moral outrage saying: "I don't mind him watching; I do mind him spending my taxes."

Thanks to a series of leaks of expense accounts for members of parliament, British taxpayers know they also bought the home secretary two wide screen TV's, DVD's, a dining room table, an antique fireplace, a kitchen sink and a $2.14 plug for a bath tub.

Smith is not alone.

Also outed: the married London politicians who live nine miles from parliament - but charge taxpayers for a second, swanky apartment on the Thames

And the member of the Labor party who claimed enough gas money to have driven twice around the globe in a year.

"Why is it that the people that got us into this mess are actually floating above it, getting everything paid for?" asked columnist Simon Hoggart.

While millions face wage freezes or even cuts, members of Parliament are getting another pay increase - a very handsome $2,100.

  • Sheila MacVicar

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