What did your MP claim: Watchdog publishes expenses for August and September

Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis. Picture: James Bass. Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis. Picture: James Bass.

Friday, January 10, 2014
11:40 AM

MPs covering Norfolk, Waveney and North-East Cambridgeshire claimed more than £92,000 in expenses in August and September last year, it has emerged.

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A few of the claims

The lowest claim of the MPs came from Norwich MP Simon Wright who claimed 16p for Rapesco Foldback Clips. He only just beat North East Cambridgeshire MP Stephen Barclay as the lowest individual claim after the MP in the fens claimed 17p for Rapesco Staples,

He also claimed £1,239 for a folding machine for parliamentary letters.

A fan of the traditional fountain pen, Mr Barclay claimed £7.54 for a black Pilot V4 Disposable Fountain Pen, while Broadland MP Keith Simpson also turned out to be a fan of fountain pens, claiming £105.77-worth of the same variety in blue.

There were a number of interns recorded over the summer.

Henry Bellingham claimed more than £280 for an intern to travel from Winchfield to London for three weeks, while Liz Truss claimed £17.80, £25 and £21.20 for transport and a series of lunches for her work experience charge.

MPs covering Norfolk, Waveney and East Cambridgeshire claimed more than £92,000 in expenses in August and September last year, it has emerged.

The parliamentary watchdog IPSA released details of 35,000 claims totalling £4.85m, including 679 individual claims by our MPs.

IN FULL: Our local MPs’ expenses

Three Norfolk MPs claimed more than £10,000 in the period.

These were Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis who claimed £11,953, Mid-Norfolk MP George Freeman who claimed £11,792 and North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham who claimed £10,666.

Mr Lewis’ biggest claim was £1,149.60 for a Toshiba Portege UltraBook 2930 computer and he also claimed almost £3,000 for “research, briefing and other parliamentary-associated assistance”.

He said it was the first laptop that he had claimed in more than three years. “The staffing costs are the same every month of the year. These are office costs and these are stationery costs providing services for residents, and this is how they are done,” he said.

Some of the MPs had bills paid for three months and said that their expenses would even out over the year. George Freeman’s biggest expense was a £1,746 for training course for his staff, which included tutoring for two young members of staff he had taken on.

He said: “After some of the appalling abuses of the expenses scandal in the last Parliament, as a newly-elected MP I am very sensitive to public anger and do all I can to keep my costs to a minimum, including not claiming a second home allowance or for late-night subsistence when voting late.

“My biggest cost is staffing in the constituency and Westminster offices, to help handle the 300 letters and emails we receive each week, and the local campaigns I run.

“The important figures that the public will rightly want to scrutinise are the annual totals showing the total cost of MPs expenses over the year, which I am confident will show that as for previous years I am one of the lower claimants, rather than these figures which are simply for what was claimed in the two months of August and September (as opposed to what was incurred).”

North-West Norfolk Henry Bellingham’s biggest expense was £1,970.82 for buildings insurance, which he listed as an “accommodation cost” and £1,838.04 which he spent on renting his office.

South-West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss, who came under fire for claiming £2,579.67 for gas and electricity at her second home between 2012 and 2013, claimed the least of the MPs in August and September asking for £2,580.32 for her expenses.

All MPs’ expenses are now published following the parliamentary expenses scandal in 2009, which was triggered by the leak and subsequent publication by The Telegraph Group in 2009.

It following failed attempts by parliament to prevent disclosure under Freedom of Information legislation.

11 comments

  • add this to the 500 car journeys made by the coalition just taking documents . And the worst offender for these is the one and only nick clegg . These people do not live in the real world. Hopefully they will join the real world at the next election

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    milecross

    Saturday, January 11, 2014

  • Might have been G von Norwich, it might have been, wouldn't we all like the taxpayer to pay our legal insurance, not. This taxmoney comes from working families, G von Norwich, not from taxdodgers and off- shorers who secrete 120 billion past the exchequer.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Sunday, January 12, 2014

  • I guess it would be a bit too much to ask of these poor darlings to shop around to get the best deal - like we the constituents have to. That would be too big of an ask of them - given how much time they have on their hands. This is shameful. They all need to hang their heads in shame. I barely make more than some of these expenses. Nothing but common thieves the lot of them (no offence to a common thief intended - I wouldn't want to be compared to these low life, lazy, parasitic animals either)

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    wilcochris

    Saturday, January 11, 2014

  • Strange, Archant, no mention of Little Chloe your favourite pin-up girl? Thought we would have at least had a big photo at the top of the article. Ms Smith did in fact receive £438 to help with her energy bills by the way...

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    cornwallcanary

    Friday, January 10, 2014

  • "These were Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis who claimed £11,953" I thought he had hibernated for the winter. Haven't heard a peep from him for ages. Talk about taking the p**s !

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Friday, January 10, 2014

  • Chloe Smith, backbench MP, claimed £500,- for legal expenses, maybe she should explain to her Constituents what these were and what relations they had to her public service.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Friday, January 10, 2014

  • Parasites!

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    beverley

    Friday, January 10, 2014

  • No different to the PM paying £90 for a cut and blowdry! That's more than some people have to live on for a week. Disgusting..........

    Report this comment

    Sandy.L

    Friday, January 10, 2014

  • Why all the criticism. These poor loves work hard for very little thanks and pay. Remember the H of C is open for a whole six months of the year. The one hour a week, PMs Question Time, also known as MPs playtime is always a full house and they have to come from far and wide to attend. Fortunately, by the pairing system MPs do not have to attend any of the other debates. There are numerous bars and restaurant at Westminster. If these were not kept full, what would happen to the serving staff? Very unselfish of the MPs to frequent and use the faclities to the fullest. It would also be very ungracious not to use the generous gift , in the way of subsidies, from their constituents. So what if our beloved leaders splash out on high end electronic devices, don't they deserve it?

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    norman hall

    Friday, January 10, 2014

  • "Mr Lewis’ biggest claim was £1,149.60 for a Toshiba Portege UltraBook 2930 computer" These MP's just don't get the message do they? I don't doubt that he needs a laptop but to pay £1,149.60 is taking the mickey, I bought a damn good laptop 4 years ago for just under £500 and it's still going strong. Why do they think they should have the best of everything at our expense?

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    Chris S

    Friday, January 10, 2014

  • Mr Wagenknecht, you must have a faulty copy of the spreadsheet, mine says "Legal Expenses Insurance" which is slightly different - and might have been an annual renewal, I see other MPs also claimed for the same in the same period And wasn't Chloe Smith a "Parliamentary Secretary" at the time; are they counted as backbenchers?

    Report this comment

    G_of_Norwich

    Friday, January 10, 2014

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