Protester digs up MP's garden
An MP has branded a political stunt in which activists dug a large pound shaped flower bed into his lawn as "unacceptable".
Intruder Hayden Prowse, masqueraded as a gardener as he carved a three-foot pound sign into MP Alan Duncan's garden and filled it with flowers on Wednesday afternoon.
Mr Prowse claimed it was in response to the criticism Rutland and Melton MP Mr Duncan received for trying to claim £7,000 in gardening expenses for his home in Thorpe by Water, in Rutland.
Mr Duncan, who has reported the incident to the police, said: "I know these are feverish times but however unpopular politicians are at the moment, attacks of this sort are unacceptable."
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The act was filmed and broadcast on DontPanicOnline.com – a political and arts website.
In the three-and-a-half minute film, Mr Prowse, 28, starts by giving a brief account of Mr Duncan's business background before pinning £10 notes to a small tree and claiming it is Mr Duncan's money tree.
He also stages the uncovering of a buried chest filled with £20 notes.
Watch the film...
Mr Prowse, editor of the Don't Panic magazine, based in London, said: "I've had a lot of journalists asking if I'm worried about the police catching up with me – and to be honest, I am a little.
"But if Alan Duncan wants to press charges then that's fine." He said his actions were a protest against the expenses claims the MPs had been allowed to make.
"We did our research and decided to focus on Alan Duncan because he's a very rich guy and we're paying thousands for his garden," he said.
"It's just not acceptable, these people think they're untouchable so we're taking it to their homes and showing them the public are angry.
"We're not putting bricks through MP's windows, we're just going to their houses and pushing them out of their comfort zones." In the video, Mr Prowse said the gardening he was about to do was free, so Mr Duncan didn't have to claim anymore expenses.
The under-fire Conservative MP said on Tuesday he would pay back almost £5,000 in allowances for gardening work at his Rutland home.
A spokesman for Mr Duncan said: "Two men tricked the gardener. They carved a pound sign in the garden and put blue flowers into it and planted a 'money tree'. They were trespassing and Alan reported it to the police."
Frances Frowde, who lives near Mr Duncan's home, said: "I've heard about it and I think this will bring out some sympathy for Alan, who is a very good constituency MP and we support him."
Fellow villager Eamon Walsh said: "I'm amazed they would have the nerve to go there, there is a lot of security. The whole country is outraged by what's been revealed about MPs, and not just Alan Duncan."
Police have confirmed they received a report of criminal damage at Mr Duncan's home.
No arrests have been made, but investigations are continuing.