UK's expense scandal hits Brown's wallet


Now, the scandal has reached into Brown’s own checkbook, in a way that will hardly bankrupt him but, like an ungainly yearbook photo, is providing a fresh reminder of a particularly awkward time.

Officials at 10 Downing Street on Monday said Brown had received a letter demanding that he repay £12,415 — about $19,670, at current exchange rates — for cleaning, gardening and maintenance expenses at a London apartment and a home in Scotland between 2004 and 2009.

It was an embarrassing turn for Brown, reviving memories of the expenses scandal just when it had shown signs of receding as a political issue amid wider concerns about the economy. Brown began his day on Monday with a headline-grabbing announcement that the government would seek to raise $25 billion over two years by selling state assets.

The plan drew criticism from political opponents and some economists for being little more than window dressing when measured against the scale of the budget hole. The deficit-cutting measures revealed on Monday led the news across Britain for only a few hours before Brown trumped himself with Downing Street’s announcement of his expense troubles.

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