Duck house, symbol of UK expenses scandal, sold

Mon Sep 6, 2010 1:07pm EDT
 
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - A floating duck house, which came to symbolize a parliamentary expenses scandal that rocked British politics last year, has been sold and the money given to a cancer charity, the organization said on Monday.

Former Conservative member of parliament (MP) Peter Viggers claimed 1,645 pounds ($2,500) of public money in expenses to pay for the ornamental duck house as part of a 30,000 pound claim he made for gardening.

It became the notorious image of the scandal that infuriated the public and led to the end of many political careers, including that of Viggers.

An official report found that hundreds of MPs had filed excessive claims between 2004 and 2009 on items ranging from dog food to moat cleaning, and ordered them to pay back more than one million pounds.

The infamous duck house, designed to protect the birds from foxes, was sold at auction on Monday for 1,700 pounds to a business center in central England and Viggers donated the proceeds to the Macmillan Cancer Support charity.

"We are really delighted that some good has come out of the whole expenses scandal and are grateful for the donation..." a spokeswoman for the charity said.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Tim Castle and Paul Casciato)