George Osborne in expense claim for paddock

 

George Osborne was under pressure last night after it was revealed he claimed expenses to cover mortgage payments for a paddock.

The paddock adjoins his Cheshire farmhouse and was bought by the Chancellor and his wife, Frances, as part of the purchase of his Cheshire farmhouse for £455,000 in 2000, before he became an MP.

After winning a seat at Westminster in the 2001 General Election, Mr Osborne claimed up to £100,000 in expenses for mortgage interest payments on the home and paddock. However, it has now been revealed that the paddock is recorded by the land registry as a property separate from the farmhouse near Macclesfield.

The mortgage claims on the farmhouse were considered during the Parliamentary inquiry into MPs' expenses because Mr Osborne had "flipped" his second home allowance on to the property but there was no mention of the paddock being separate. The house and paddock have now been sold, reportedly for up to £1m.

Labour's John Mann said: "Mr Osborne clearly didn't need it [the paddock] to discharge his Parliamentary duties."

In January 2010 Mr Osborne was ordered to repay £1,666 after being found to have overclaimed for mortgage interest on the farmhouse.

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