Revealed: What your MP has claimed back on expenses

PUBLISHED: 09:11 12 January 2018 | UPDATED: 09:42 12 January 2018

Figures released yesterday show how much MPs have been claiming on expenses. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Figures released yesterday show how much MPs have been claiming on expenses. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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How much has your MP been claiming back on expenses – and how are they using your money?

Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami. Picture: Danny LooHitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami. Picture: Danny Loo

Figures released by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority yesterday show how much MPs, who earn a basic annual salary of £76,011, have claimed since April last year.

The figures reveal that Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami has claimed £2,000 in expenses for subscription to the Conservative backbench European Research Group, which gathers research and lobbies for Brexit.

Mr Afolami, who was elected last June, backed Remain in the European Union membership referendum two years ago.

He told this paper: “My position has not changed. This particular cost is for legislative advice, research and detailed statistical information relating to my parliamentary work.”

Several neighbouring MPs claim upwards of £2,600 each to pay for the not-for-profit Policy Research Unit – which pools researchers between Conservative MPs with the aim of saving money and duplication of work.

Mr Afolami and North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald have both claimed the council tax on their constituency homes back on expenses, at a cost of £3,774.26 between them.

The Hitchin and Harpenden MP also claims £1,800 a month for accommodation in London, while Nadine Dorries – MP for Mid Bedfordshire – claims £1,820 a month for London rent.

Mr Afolami said: “All my costs associated with being an MP are in full accordance with the reformed IPSA guidelines, which are publicly available on the IPSA website.”

The full figures for MPs in and around our area are as follows.

Bim Afolami (Conservative, Hitchin and Harpenden): £15,014.80, including:

Office costs £4,419.20, including stationery (£579.69), constitutiency office telephone usage and rental (£182), other equipment £30.03), internet usage and rental (£137.48), website design and production (£740), European Research Group subscription (£2,000), and computer software (£750).

Accommodation £9,970.20, including £2,369.77 for council tax and £400.43 for ‘other fuel’ at his constituency home, and £7,200 for rent on London accommodation.

Travel £625.40, including £324 for his own travel by car, £97.30 for rail journeys, £24.10 for a staff rail journey, and £180 for dependants’ travel by car.

Heidi Allen (Conservative, South Cambridgeshire): £19,731.20, including:

Office costs £10,550.93, including stationery (£171.44), constituency office telephone usage and rental (£644.39), constituency office rent (£5,800.88), data protection (£35), newspapers (£127.70), postage (£37.50), constituency office cleaning (£13.70), office equipment (£129.33), telephone (£18.99), Policy Research Unit subscription (£2,672), and computer software (£900).

Accommodation £8,007.67, including telephone usage (£2.79), electricity (£87), council tax (£818.89), accommodation rent (£6,369.04), internet (£129.95), and ground rent (£600).

Miscellaneous £215, all for constituency office relocation.

Travel £957.60, including £686.25 for her own journeys by car, £37.50 for rail travel from Ashwell & Morden to London, £199.95 for staff rail journeys, £20.70 for staff car journeys, and £13.20 for staff bus journeys.

Alistair Burt (Conservative, North East Bedfordshire): £19,893.14, including:

Office costs £7,136.09, including stationery (£195.75), constituency office telephone usage and rental (£1,408.58), constituency office rent (£378.52), other (£35 for data protection), computer hardware (£1,181.24), advertising (£357), Policy Research Unit subscription (£2,680), and computer software (£900).

Accommodation £11,370, all for London rent.

Travel £1,387.05, including £364.50 for his own travel by car, £410.05 for rail journeys between London and Bedford, £421.20 for staff rail tickets between London and Bedford, £162 for staff travel by car, and £29.30 for a dependant’s rail travel between Bedford and London.

Nadine Dorries (Conservative, Mid Bedfordshire): £14,115.61, including:

Office costs £3,176.71, including constituency office telephone usage and rental (£266.38), internet usage and rental (£230.33), and Policy Research Unit subscription (£2,680).

Accommodation £10,920, all for London rent.

Travel £18,90, for a staff return journey by rail from London to Flitwick.

Oliver Dowden (Conservative, Hertsmere): £3,931.26, including:

Office costs £3,444.15, including stationery (-£296.70), newspapers (-£27.17), surgery venue hire (£192), other (£35), computer hardware (-£45.98), other equipment (£15 for earphones), Policy Research Unit subscription (£2,672) and computer software (£900).

Travel £487.11, including £181.44 for his own travel by car, £51.40 for rail journeys, £38.44 for a hotel and £31.35 for food during an Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme visit to the Defence Academy in Shrivenham, £13.25 for staff rail journeys, and £171.23 for staff journeys by car.

Sir Oliver Heald (Conservative, North East Hertfordshire): £16,350.67, including:

Office costs £11,743.98, including stationery (£233.20), constituency office usage and rental (£294.25), constituency office rent (£9,093.25), newspapers (£78), surgery venue hire (£15), surgery advertising (£1,043.80), internet usage (£86.48), and computer software (£900).

Staffing £2,680, all for Policy Research Unit subscription.

Accommodation £1,868.89, including £115.43 for gas, £113.94 for internet, £235.03 for water and £1,404.49 for council tax at his constituency home.

Travel £57.80, for three trips between London and Royston.

Anne Main (Conservative, St Albans): £6,659.65, including:

Office costs £6,019.65, including stationery (£363.49), constituency office rent (£2,076.16), Policy Research Unit subscription (£2,680), and computer software (£900).

Staffing £640, all to constituency staff.

Stephen McPartland (Conservative, Stevenage): £9,887.26, including:

Office costs £7,215.26, including stationery (£147.61), constituency office telephone usage and rental (£853.76), constituency office rent (£5,760), waste disposal (£188.40), surgery venue hire (£180), other (£35) and telephone (£50.49).

Staffing £2,672, all for Policy Research Unit subscription.

Grant Shapps (Conservative, Welwyn Hatfield): £17,818.66, including:

Office costs £16,823.52, including stationery (£651.62), constituency office telephone usage and rental (£1,913.18), constituency office rent (£6,575.34), newspapers (£327.38), surgery venue hire (£210), postage (£312.58), computer hardware (£29.99), other equipment (£3,032.68), contact cards (£255.60), internet usage and rental (£72.20), equipment insurance (£93.39), Policy Research Unit subscription (£2,680), computer software (£458.98), and office equipment installation and maintenance (£210.58).

Staffing £231.29, including 10 lunches for an intern (£39.54 in total) and 11 rail journeys for the same intern from Welwyn Garden City to Westminster (£191.75).

Travel £763.85, including £324 for his own travel by car, £429.55 for staff travel, and £10.30 for taxi journeys within the constituency.

Some amounts in these figures are negative due to refunds. The figures do not include the MPs’ staffing payrolls, details for which will be released after the end of the financial year in April.

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