Dear ——- —-,
Thank you for your email of December 20, and for replying to my complaint about Rt Hon George Osborne MP so promptly.
Herewith please find copies of Land Registry documents relating to the properties in question. These may be obtained from the Land Registry on request. It is clear from them that both properties were owned by Mr Osborne and were sold together – as a single transaction – to the new owners. Under those circumstances it is unreasonable to expect that the valuation of £445,000, which appears on both documents for the period when Mr Osborne owned those properties, relates to those properties individually; it is the value of both properties, taken together. That is how Mr Osborne bought them, and it is how he sold them. It is unreasonable to expect anyone to believe there are separate valuations for the land and the building.
It must follow, therefore, that Mr Osborne’s claim for mortgage expenses towards use of the building in the pursuance of his Parliamentary duties also went towards payment of mortgage expenses on the paddock, and I understand it is now a belief that is widely held by the public, that Mr Osborne did not spend a single penny of his own money on the mortgage for the properties in question.
There are questions that I cannot answer for you. I do not hold details of the single mortgage he held, that covered both the land west of Macclesfield Road (the paddock) and at Harrop Fold Farm – that would be a private document and its details would be a matter for him to divulge. Therefore I cannot say for certain whether he claimed for all of the mortgage interest or just a percentage covering the house. As a reasonable man, however, I can say that it seems unlikely he would put forward an arbitrary figure – and how would he know the correct valuation for the building alone, when he bought it and the paddock as a single package?
You rightly state that the Commissioner has already inquired into Mr Osborne’s claims for his second home over the relevant period. The only conclusion I can draw from this, in the light of the above information, is that Mr Osborne may have misled the Commissioner about the true nature of his mortgage interest payments. I would imagine this is a serious offence against the Commissioner’s office; if it is not, I am sure that the general public would be as shocked as I would.
Bear in mind also that the sum of money concerned in this affair is around £1 million. This is not a paltry amount and, if the taxpayers of the UK have been unwittingly subsidising a profit-making scheme for this man, it would be unreasonable to deny them knowledge of the matter and recompense for the misuse of their tax pounds.
Thank you for your attention in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response. I understand that your office would not, in any case, proceed with an investigation without a written complaint, so I will put the necessary documents in the post at my earliest convenience.