MPs handed £3.2m expenses payout

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Indy Politics

MPs were paid £3.2 million in expenses from the final two months of 2010, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) disclosed today.

Another £9,998-worth of claims submitted by 44 MPs were refused by the watchdog from the same period.

In total, 26,500 claims were submitted in November and December, although many may relate to expenditure in previous months.

Between last May - when Ipsa took over the administration of MPs' expenses - and December, there were more than 72,000 claims totalling £9.98 million.

The claims from November and December were down from the £3.6 million paid out in September and October last year.

The value of claims knocked back by Ipsa, because they were invalid or lacked adequate documentation, also fell significantly - from £15,352 in the earlier two-month period.

But this may reflect a change in the way that Ipsa records refused claims after outrage from MPs in February when the September and October expenses were published.

Many insisted then that their claims had been listed as not paid when they had been re-submitted later and met in full.

Ipsa said such claims should only appear as paid in full in the latest update to the register.

According to Ipsa's database, MPs who had claims refused by Ipsa from November and December included:

:: Tobias Ellwood, a Tory, for a £59 bike repair, described as not claimable;

:: Angus MacNeil, of the Scottish National Party, for two claims of £387.75 for interim hotel accommodation in London, both rejected as duplicates;

:: Children's Minister Tim Loughton, who provided "insufficient evidence" for a £89.23 claim for staples and ink cartridges;

:: Shadow Treasury chief secretary Angela Eagle, whose receipt failed to match a claim for a £10 rail ticket for a member of staff;

:: Tory backbencher Bernard Jenkin, who provided "insufficient evidence" for a £60 electricity claim;

:: Andrew Robathan, a Tory, who missed the nine-day deadline on food claims of £8.60 and £9.25;

:: Labour's Ian Mearns, who provided "insufficient evidence" for an £8 taxi journey from Gateshead to BBC Newcastle.

A total of 154 claims submitted in November and December were refused by Ipsa.

Labour MP Khalid Mahmood had 15p held back by Ipsa because the receipt did not match the £776.53 claim he had submitted for "professional services" from Gordon Badley Communications.

Among claims that were approved by Ipsa, were £125 for the 2011 edition of Who's Who, submitted by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith.

Phil Woolas, the former Labour MP who lost his seat in an election court judgment in November, received £56.28 in "winding up" expenses - spent on ink cartridges and paper.

Liam Byrne, the former Labour Treasury minister who left a note for his coalition successor saying "there's no money left", claimed for a £50 upgrade to first class on a train journey between Westminster and his Birmingham constituency.

The description attached to the claim explains that there were "no seats available in standard" during the journey on June 14.