THE Met Police has launched an investigation into former Bexley Council leader Ian Clement’s expenses claims.

The Greater London Authority (GLA) had met with officers from the Met’s Economic and Specialist Crime Unit about Ian Clement.

And it referred the matter to the unit last Wednesday.

The GLA’s director of resources, Martin Clarke, said the police would be reviewing all Mr Clement’s expenses and identifying the scale of any potential fraud.

Two days later the Met confirmed an investigation was under way.

Mr Clement was forced to resign from his £127,784 job as deputy mayor on June 22.

The Bexleyheath and Crayford Conservative Association’s executive committee met last Thursday and agreed unanimously to suspend Mr Clement and begin the process of ending his membership.

A special meeting of the executive, to which Mr Clement will be invited, is being organised.

However, the association declined to give any further details.

Meanwhile there are still questions being asked about Mr Clement’s use of a Bexley Council credit card while he was leader of the council.

An internal investigation into his claims are continuing.

And the council’s Labour Group is also separately scrutinising the details.

Bexley council tax payers may want to know why Mr Clement thought it was “best value” to charge Bexley £170 for a five-and-a-half hour stay in a hotel at Gatwick Airport, booking his car into the airport car park on November 20 last year at 11.26pm and checking out of the hotel at 5am on November 21, to catch a 6.30am flight to Amsterdam.

Bexley’s comment when asked by News Shopper was “he felt it appropriate to stay at Gatwick in order to make sure he caught his flight”.

In daytime traffic, the airport is less than a 50-minute drive from Mr Clement’s Crayford home.

News Shopper also asked why it was appropriate to spend council tax payers’ money on entertaining Bexley’s former chief executive Nick Johnson at an £86.40 lunch at posh London restaurant Le Pont de la Tour in November 2007.

Mr Johnson had retired days earlier on ill health grounds from his £203,000-a year Bexley job, with a full pension and a six-figure pay-off, only to take a £125,000-a-year job four months later at Hammersmith and Fulham Homes.

Another £109.35 was spent lunching the new chief executive, Will Tuckley, at the same restaurant just before he took up his £180,000 Bexley job.

Mr Clement also spent £159 lunching in London with three members of Bexley Community Safety Partnership.

These were fellow councillor Katie Perrior, a council assistant director and Bexley borough commander Chief Superintendent Tony Dawson.

The Labour group says it suspects many of Mr Clement’s claims to Bexley were for activities connected with his part in Boris Johnson’s mayoral campaign.

His former job at City Hall is believed to have been a reward for his campaign work.

Mr Clement was unavailable for comment.