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Monday, 12 April 2010

The General Election, MPs and Westminster hotels

So, we are going to have a General Election on May 6. That means we have weeks of claim and counter-claim, statistics and bare-faced lies, polls and more polls to look forward to.

Despite that, the election is an interesting one for a number of reasons. The fact that the outcome is likely to be the closest for years means that there is more to play for, particularly for the smaller parties, than for a generation.

Secondly, we will see a record number of MPs replaced, largely due to the fallout from the MPs’ expenses scandal. At least 150 MPs have announced that they are planning to stand down at the forthcoming election. Many others may elect to join them after it was announced recently that golden goodbyes of up to £65,000 will be banned from the next Parliament. Going now rather than in five years could make a big difference to their “retirement”.

Those new MPs will be working under a new expenses regime that is still currently being finalised. However, it is already clear that there will be new restrictions on MPs’ use of hotels, with a cap on the amount they can spend if they need to stay the night close to the Houses of Parliament.

However, even with a price cap they will have plenty of choice.

New MPs looking for somewhere to stay close to the Houses of Parliament – or their travel booker in their constituency, whether that is their spouse, an otherwise unemployed son or daughter or merely an employee - could do worse than looking at our hotel booking tool Hotel Booker.

The hotel booking tool lists 150,000 hotels around the world. Just within a mile of the House, there are at least 50 hotels available to book.

Hotel Booker, which includes a natty mapping function, shows that the five closest hotels to the Houses of Parliament are the Hilton London Trafalgar Square, the Sanctuary House Hotel, the Premier Inn London County Hall, the Marriott County Hall and the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge.

What that means is that our new MPs – whoever they may be – will still be within running distance of the House should the Division Bell sound while they are still sleeping off a late-night session (parliamentary of course) in their hotel bed.

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