MP to repay £9,500 after 'misinterpretation of rules'
A member of the Shadow Cabinet is to repay more than £9,500 in second home expenses after a sleaze watchdog found him in breach of Commons rules.
But shadow culture secretary Jeremy Hunt will escape further punishment after MPs accepted an earlier apology over allowing his agent to stay rent-free in the taxpayer-subsidised home.
The Committee on Standards and Privileges said that while public money had not been diverted to the benefit of the Conservative Party there had been a personal benefit to the agent.
So long as Mr Hunt repaid "promptly and in full" £9,558.50 - half of the costs claimed over the period - no further action was required, it said.
Parliamentary Standards Commissioner John Lyon, to whom Mr Hunt personally referred his case, found he also breached the rules by claiming for a property when it was his designated main home.
He has already repaid that money and had previously said he was happy to hand back the second sum should the watchdog deem it necessary.
In a statement, the MP said: "I fully accept the Parliamentary Commissioner's findings and am grateful that he has ruled that neither I nor the local Conservative Party received any financial benefit from this misinterpretation of the rules.
"As he noted, I have already apologised unreservedly and have offered to pay back half of all the costs I claimed for this property over the period for which it was also used by my constituency agent."
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