Former MPs continue to rent out properties to ex-colleagues who remain in the House of Commons

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has released a list of around 300 MPs who are claiming rental allowances for their second home from the taxpayer and who they are renting the properties from

Former MPs are still making money through the Parliamentary expenses system by renting out their London properties to ex-colleagues who remain in the House of Commons, it has emerged.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has released a list of around 300 MPs who are claiming rental allowances for their second home from the taxpayer and who they are renting the properties from.

It suggests that around 30 MPs, who own properties in London which were financed by the taxpayer are letting out those properties while charging the taxpayer for renting another property.

But it also shows six former MPs are currently the landlords of serving Members and receiving a rental income from the taxpayer.

These include Baroness Tonge, the Liberal Democrat peer, who claimed mortgage interest on her second home allowance when she served as an MP until 2005. She now leases the property to Stephen Williams who in turn recovers the rent from the taxpayer. She said she rents the property out at “way below the market value”.

Also on the list is the former Forest of Dean MP Diana Organ who was told in 2010 that had to pay back nearly £12,000 worth of expenses which had illegitimately claimed on her London property following the expenses scandal. She now rents the same flat to the Labour MP Julie Hilling. She last night confirmed that she was the landlady but stressed the rental was entirely legitimate.

“I am a private citizen who is renting out a property in the normal way,” she said.

However the full extent of the MPs and former MPs who are renting out their homes other Parliamentarian maybe an underestimate as many of the details of landlords have been redacted for reasons of security.

IPSA said it had redacted the names of landlords where publication could result in a MPs exact address being identifiable or where they had raised concerns with Parliamentary Authorities over their security. 

The rules of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) state that “members of Parliament must not exploit the system for personal financial advantage”.

It is currently carrying out a consultation on whether MPs should be able to rent properties from MPs or former MPs who may have had the mortgages on those properties previously paid by the taxpayer.

Among MPs who have claim rental for property – despite owning houses or flats in London include John Whittingdale, the Conservative chairman of the culture, media and sport committee, the Tory MP Mark Pritchard and John Denham, a former Labour cabinet minister.

Labour’s Michael Meacher was also found to have moved out of his home in Oldham to rent a new property, while Pat McFadden, a Labour former minister, did the same in Wolverhampton.

Mr Whittingdale said he would have “much preferred not to have had to do” it but it was a direct consequence of the change in the rules which stopped MPs from claiming for mortgage payments.

“It has long been my view that the system of allowances is illogical, unnecessarily costly to the taxpayer and anomalous. This is an example of that.

Mr Denham stressed he was not benefiting financially from the new arrangement. He said: “I would strongly prefer to revert to the previous arrangement. This was also, of course, very significantly cheaper for the taxpayer. This option does not exist under the Ipsa rules. I have had to let the property in order to maintain mortgage payments on it.”

Who made the list?

Karl Turner, MP for Hull East rents his property from the RMT Union. In the House of Commons he has described the head of the union Bob Crow as “a very good friend of mine”.

The Conservative MP Peter Luff’s registered landlord is Frank Lampard. He said he did not know if it was the Chelsea footballer as his letting agents not divulge the information.

The Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert rents his London flat from the former Channel Four political editor Elinor Goodman who is currently assisting Lord Leveson with his inquiry into press standards.

The Conservative head of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee John Whittingdale moved out of a flat he had owned for years and moved into a nearby property, with a higher rental claim on his expenses. 

William Hague’s Parliamentary Private Secretary Keith Simpson rents a property from the former Tory MP Lord Flight. Lord Flight was forced to stand down as an MP in 2005 after being secretly recorded saying the Conservatives in office could make more spending cuts than they were promising in their general election campaign. 

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Personal Tax Senior

£28000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer and Markets Development Executive

£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company's mission is to ma...

Recruitment Genius: Guest Services Assistant

£13832 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This 5 star leisure destination on the w...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Account Manager

£20000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Account Manager is requ...

Day In a Page

Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border