St Albans MP placed in spotlight over expenses
PUBLISHED: 15:52 22 May 2009 | UPDATED: 14:07 06 May 2010
ST ALBANS MP Anne Main's living arrangements have been highlighted by the Daily Telegraph (DT) who claims she has broken the rules regarding council tax discount. She has claimed 10 per cent second home discount on her council tax
ST ALBANS MP Anne Main's living arrangements have been highlighted by the Daily Telegraph (DT) who claims she has broken the rules regarding council tax discount.
She has claimed 10 per cent second home discount on her council tax for her St Albans flat even though the DT claim her daughter Claire Tonks has lived there for up to three years.
This discount can only be claimed if no-one lives at the property full-time.
Mrs Main's principal home is a large detached house in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire which is 25 miles from St Albans.
The MP charged the taxpayer around £1,100 a month in mortgage interest payments for the flat along with service charges, utility bills and furnishing costs. She has claimed a 10 per cent discount on council tax since 2004 - amounting to £171 last year - and submitted the bill on her expenses.
The DT claims two neighbours who live in other flats in the building say they had never met Mrs Main but many neighbours were familiar with Miss Tonks, a marketing expert who works for Kids Industries.
Miss Tonks, who has kept the surname of her late father, appears on the electoral roll at the St Albans property.
Under the rules relating to second home allowances, MPs are entitled to claim only for expenses incurred in the course of parliamentary duties and cannot claim "for anyone other than yourself".
Mrs Main is quoted as telling the DT that she had consulted the Commons fee office to ask if family members were allowed to stay with her in the flat and had been told there was no problem.
A clearly distressed Mrs Main - speaking on Friday (22/5) - said : "I do use my home in St Albans to support my constituency work and do stay overnight on a regular basis. I stayed there last night and will be staying there tonight. I also use my home during the day if needs be as my base in the constituency.
"My daughter has been staying with me as a family member, albeit she is intending to move down to London in the near future.
"I have, as is required when questions like this arise, willingly submitted all my expenses and details to the scrutiny committee and I await their response. I only ever try to work hard on behalf of my constituents and believe having my home in St Albans helps me to do that.
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