Cameron lashes out at Brown

LONDON - David Cameron yesterday launched a personal attack on Prime Minister Gordon Brown over the parliamentary expenses scandal, raising the heat of pre-election rhetoric as Conservative poll ratings continued to sag.

LONDON - David Cameron yesterday launched a personal attack on Prime Minister Gordon Brown over the parliamentary expenses scandal, raising the heat of pre-election rhetoric as Conservative poll ratings continued to sag.

The Conservative Party leader said Brown, pictured, was a "shameless defender of the old elite" who was a roadblock to political reform.

He accused Brown of being "secretive, power-hoarding, controlling" and of tolerating the "disgusting sight" of Labour MPs charged with fraud over expense claims trying to use parliamentary privilege to avoid prosecution.

Labour later announced it had suspended three MPs charged with false accounting over their claims.

The assault on Brown's character comes after a week of opinion polls showing the Conservatives slipping to a single digit lead over Labour.

Analysts say that could lead to a hung parliament with no party winning a majority in the election expected on May 6, an outcome that rattles financial markets concerned over Britain's record £178billion (about R2,1trillion) budget deficit.

Last Friday, prosecutors brought charges against Labour MPs Elliot Morley, David Chaytor and Jim Devine, as well as the Conservative Lord Hanningfield. - Reuters

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