MPs’ expenses revealed

Nadine Dorries

Nadine Dorries - Credit: Archant

COMET country MPs have claimed more than £95,000 in expenses in eight months, according to a list published this week.

Peter Lilley MP

Peter Lilley MP - Credit: Archant

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) published a list last Thursday, giving a breakdown of expenses for each MP from April-November 2012.

Alistair Burt MP

Alistair Burt MP - Credit: Archant

North East Beds MP Alistair Burt had the highest spend in Comet country of £28,122.86 for this period, which includes an allowance for staying in London given to Bedfordshire MPs.

The Foreign Office Minister, who said he supported costs being regularly published, told the Comet: “My claims in pursuit of my role as MP for North East Bedfordshire are nothing out of the ordinary, and my team and I continue to be prudent in our spending for the running of my two offices.”

Mid-Beds MP Nadine Dorries claimed the second highest amount at £25,869.93.

Ms Dorries, who is currently standing as an independent after being suspended from the Conservatives in November, is already under investigation by the IPSA for expenses claimed on accommodation and travel. She has said there is “no foundation to those claims”.

At the time of going to press, the MP had not responded to the Comet’s calls about the latest expenses.

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Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, claimed the least in the area with £11,288.38, a 37 per cent reduction on the previous year.

But the MP said the low figure was because he had forgotten to put in some claims.

“Normally I would have to claim more than this but I think it is simply that I was too busy to do so and due to the rules brought in last year I have now missed the opportunity,” he said.

Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland claimed £13,857.62 but told the Comet he has very few expenses.

And North East Herts MP Oliver Heald claimed £16,084.55 – a 22 per cent reduction from the same period last year. He said: “We now have a more transparent system. I think my expenses have always been moderate. We have kept all our equipment so haven’t had the capital costs but we are always careful with what we spend.”