Shaid Malik MP, ironically a Minister in the Ministry of Justice, has resigned from his ministerial post after claiming nearly £67k over three years in second home allowances whilst paying just £100 per week in rent on his main home thanks to an undeclared subsidy he had negotiated with the landlord. The landlord has allegedly rented out properties that are uninhabitable and been fined for the offence.
But of course, it’s all with the rules says Shaid Malik. Lots of other MPs have been saying their claims are all within the rules as well. Most of them have gone on to say that the system is wrong and that the taxpayer is right to be upset, dismayed, horrified at the expenses the system has allowed them to make. You might say that they have concluded that their decision to make the claims was …
So outrageous in its defiance of logic or accepted moral standards that no sensible person who had applied his mind to the question to be decided could have arrived at it.
The above is a quote from the ruling in Associated Provincial Picture Houses v Wednesbury Corporation which gave rise to the legal test of Wednesbury Unreasonableness. The test asks if an administrative decision is so unreasonable that a reasonable person would never make the same decision and if that is the case, a judge is entitled to hear the case and make a judgement on that basis.
The argument that it’s all within the rules is no defence and neither is ignorance of the law. But a Justice Minister should know that, shouldn’t they?