Feeds

Taxpayer coughs for AOL Connie's flat

Well connected

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Readers hungry for an IT angle to the unfolding MPs' expenses scandal will be cheered by today's news that taxpayers have been paying thousands of pounds to tart up a flat occupied by AOL Connie, the star turn in a famed series of dotcom-era TV ads punting dial-up internet access.

Connie was played by model/actress Rachel Willis, daughter to senior Liberal Democrat Phil Willis, the MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough.

Prissy know-all/viviacious and futuristic

Today The Daily Telegraph reports that since 2004/05 Phil Willis has claimed £12,653 in mortgage interest payments on a South London property that is jointly owned, and now solely occupied, by his daughter. He also submitted a £1,275 rewiring bill, claimed £2,150 for decoration and £1,036 for drain cleaning.

The flat was initially designated as Willis' second home, and occupied by his daughter "intermittently". In 2007 however he bought the neighbouring basement flat, which he then designated as his second home, leaving AOL Connie as sole occupier of the renovated first flat.

Willis then claimed £1,700 to decorate his new flat and £1,188 for a new bathroom. AOL Connie has joint ownership of the second flat, too. Which is nice.

As The Telegraph notes: "This means public money has been spent on a flat now inhabited by the MP's daughter, and on a property in which she has a joint interest. Rules state that members cannot claim for costs that benefit anyone other than themselves."

In response to the story, Willis said he would pay back any capital gains if the flats are sold. "At no time have I knowingly made claims that attempted to abuse the Additional Costs Allowance," he added.

According to AOL Connie was "a futuristic, vivacious character". Judges bestowing the ad trade mag Campaign's Turkey of the Year Award in 2001 called her "a prissy know-all".

Still, it's good to know that after she was given the boot in 2003 the rest of us were able to give Connie a comfortable retirement, no? ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
BT said to have pulled patent-infringing boxes from DSL network
Take your license demand and stick it in your ASSIA
Right to be forgotten should apply to Google.com too: EU
And hey - no need to tell the website you've de-listed. That'll make it easier ...
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.