The full breakdown of expenses revelations

Click to follow
Indy Politics

The expenses of senior Tories were put under the spotlight for the first time today. Here are the Daily Telegraph's latest revelations:

* David Willetts

The shadow innovation, universities and skills secretary claimed £115 plus VAT to replace 25 light bulbs at his second home in west London.

On the same claim - part of a £2,191 invoice for odd jobs that included cleaning a shower head - Mr Willetts charged another £80 to "change light bulbs in bathroom".

But parliamentary authorities pared the bill back by more than £1,000, refusing to refund £175 for a dog enclosure and £750 for a shed base.

According to the Telegraph, the fees office frequently cut his claims because of errors or overclaims.

* Chris Grayling

The shadow home secretary received thousands of pounds to renovate a London flat 17 miles from his constituency home.

Mr Grayling, who already apparently owned three properties within the M25, bought the flat with loans subsidised by the taxpayer.

In an unusual move, Mr Grayling negotiated an arrangement with the fees office that allowed him to claim £625 a month for mortgages on two separate properties - the main home in Ashtead, Surrey, and the new flat.

An exception to the rules was made for the Epsom and Ewell MP because he was unable to obtain a 100% mortgage on the flat.

He is also alleged to have delayed putting in claims for decorating and refurbishing costs so he could receive the maximum in Additional Costs Allowance (ACA) over consecutive years.

* Francis Maude

The shadow Cabinet Office minister claimed almost £35,000 over two years for a mortgage on a London flat a few minutes walk from a house he already owned and then rented out.

The taxpayer footed the £387.50 bill for moving his effects down the road.

He also tried to claim mortgage interest on his family home in Sussex, but the arrangement was reportedly rejected by the Fees Office.

* George Osborne

The parliamentary authorities considered the shadow chancellor's personal website too "political" to be publicly funded, the newspaper said.

After claiming £30 for a private company to host the site, Mr Osborne was told by an official: "I draw your attention to the 'Latest News' section of your webpage. This includes some articles ... which contain clearly political content and are therefore not acceptable on a publicly funded website."

He also put a £440.62 bill for a chauffeur company to drive him from Cheshire to London on November 11 2005 on expenses.

While the invoice offered a 5% discount for "prompt settlement", Mr Osborne received the full amount.

The records showed he also claimed hundreds of pounds for cleaning and remortgaged his second home in Cheshire, increasing his monthly mortgage interest bill from £1,560 a month to nearly £1,900.

* David Cameron

The Tory leader put a total of £141,820 on his second home allowance over five years.

The majority of Mr Cameron's claims were for mortgage interest and utility bills for his Oxfordshire constituency home.

One exception was a £680 bill for repairs to the property, which included clearing wisteria and vines from a chimney, replacing outside lights and resealing his conservatory's roof.

The newspaper reported Mr Cameron's expenses appeared relatively straightforward compared to other members of the shadow cabinet.

* Cheryl Gillan

The shadow Welsh secretary spent taxpayers' money on dog food.

She said the £4.47 claim was an error and promised to repay the money.

The fees office also reduced two claims for gas bills because statements showed Ms Gillan's account was in credit.

* Oliver Letwin

Mr Letwin, who is in charge of drawing up the Conservative general election manifesto, claimed more than £2,000 to replace a leaking pipe under his tennis court.

He said he had been ordered to mend the pipe by the local water company and did not make any improvements to the court or his garden.

The taxpayer also picked up the tab for regular services to his Aga cooker.



* Nick Herbert

The shadow environment secretary claimed back £10,000 of the £14,700 stamp duty when he bought a home with his partner in his constituency.

He also charged for fees and a survey of the property in Arundel, West Sussex and claimed for the entire monthly mortgage interest even though his partner's name was on the deeds.

* Alan Duncan

The shadow leader of the Commons claimed thousands of pounds for his garden before agreeing with the fees office that the spending "could be considered excessive".

Millionaire Mr Duncan recouped £4,000 over three years. However, a £3,194 bill for gardening in March 2007 was not paid after officials responded suggesting that the claim might not be "within the spirit" of the rules, according to the Daily Telegraph.

In a letter to the MP for Rutland and Melton, the fees office said that it expected gardening costs "to cover only basic essentials such as grass cutting".

Mr Duncan apparently submitted receipts indicating his gardener was being paid £6 an hour for up to 16 hours a week, even though the property had grounds of less than an acre.

In March 2007, Mr Duncan claimed £598 to overhaul a ride-on lawn-mower and then a further £41 to fix a puncture a month later.

Mr Duncan is also said to have claimed £1,400 a month for mortgage interest on his home in Rutland.

He bought the large detached house without taking out a mortgage on the property itself in January 1992, shortly before he was elected to parliament.

However, it was not until January 2004 that a mortgage was secured against the property.

Mr Duncan told the Daily Telegraph he had initially taken out a mortgage on his London home to buy the Rutland house. He then switched the loan to Rutland in 2004.

* Andrew Lansley

The shadow health secretary spent thousands of pounds renovating a thatched Tudor country cottage - and sold it shortly afterwards.

He redecorated with premium paint in some rooms at a cost of £2,000 and spent more than £500 having the driveway re-shingled.

He is then said to have "flipped" his expenses to a Georgian flat in London, and claimed for thousands of pounds in furnishings, including a Laura Ashley sofa.

Rules in the parliamentary Green Book state MPs cannot claim "luxury or premium grade" furnishings or use their allowance to "enhance" their second home.

* Michael Gove

Mr Gove - a close ally of Mr Cameron - spent more than £7,000 in five months furnishing a London property in 2006 before "flipping" his second home designation to a new property he bought in Surrey.

He then apparently claimed more than £13,000 in stamp duty and other fees from his Parliamentary expenses for this property.

* Ken Clarke

The former Chancellor's book-keeping skills "leave much to be desired" according to the newspaper.

Mr Clarke, now shadow business secretary, was apparently asked repeatedly to submit receipts for thousands of pounds in claims for security and cleaning at his second home in London.

The records also revealed he does not claim a council tax discount of up to 10% to which he should be entitled having designated the property as his second home.

* Theresa Villiers

The shadow transport secretary claimed nearly £16,000 in stamp duty and fees for a London flat, despite already having another house in the capital only 14 miles from Westminster, it was reported.



Here are details of expenses claims reported so far in the Daily Telegraph:

* Gordon Brown

Mr Brown used his expenses to pay his brother, Andrew, £6,577 for cleaning work at his Westminster flat between 2004 and 2006.

The brothers shared the cleaner at their two flats. Under the arrangement, Andrew Brown paid the cleaner and the Prime Minister reimbursed his share of the cost.

* Alistair Darling

Mr Darling "switched" the location of his second home four times in four years, allowing him to claim thousands of pounds towards the cost of his Edinburgh home and for the London flat, it was reported.

The taxpayer contributed almost £10,000 towards the cost of furnishing the Chancellor's London flat, including £2,074 for furniture and £2,339 for "magnolia" carpets.

The public also footed the bill for £765 from Ikea and £768 from Marks and Spencer for a bed.

* Jack Straw

The Justice Secretary claimed for the full cost of council tax back even though he received a 50% discount from his local authority.

He repaid the money last summer, shortly after a High Court ruling requiring the receipts to be published.

In a note to the fees office, he wrote: "accountancy does not appear to be my strongest suit."

* Lord Mandelson

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson claimed thousands of pounds for work on his constituency home in Hartlepool shortly resigning as an MP, it was reported.

He renovated the terrace house in 2004 and sold it for a £136,000 profit.

Lord Mandelson's spokesman insisted the expenditure was to repair the property, "not improve it".

* David Miliband

The Foreign Secretary claimed almost £30,000 for doing up his £120,000 constituency home over five years, it was reported.

He spent up to £180 every three months on the garden at the property in South Shields.

At the bottom of one receipt for £132.96 in April 2008, his gardener wrote a note questioning whether some of the work was necessary.

* Geoff Hoon

The Transport Secretary was able to switch his second home in a way which allowed him to improve his family home in Derbyshire at taxpayers' expense before buying a London townhouse.

* Hazel Blears

The Communities Secretary claimed for three different properties in a single year, spending almost £5,000 of taxpayers' money on furniture in three months.

* Margaret Beckett

The Housing Minister found herself in trouble with the Fees Office after attempting to claim £600 for hanging baskets and pot plants.

* Andy Burnham

The Culture Secretary wrote a note to the fees office in which he pleaded for his expenses to be paid urgently and even wrote he "might be in line for a divorce" if the money did not materialise within days.

* Shaun Woodward

Taxpayers contributed almost £100,000 to help pay the mortgage on Mr Woodward's £1.35 million flat - one of seven owned by the Northern Ireland Secretary.

* Caroline Flint

The Europe minister put solicitors' fees and stamp duty totalling £14,553 on her Parliamentary expenses after buying a central London flat.

* Paul Murphy

The Welsh Secretary Paul Murphy used his second home allowance to buy the freehold on a flat close to Parliament, putting the arrangement fees and stamp duty on his expenses.

He also claimed for decorating and furnishing costs, including £35 for a toilet roll holder, £537 for an oven, a £605 TV and a £449 sound system.

* Douglas Alexander

Mr Alexander's constituency home was damaged in a house fire in 2007 after he spent more than £30,000 doing it up, the newspaper reported.

The International Development Secretary told the fees office he was "under-insured" and claimed almost £2,000 on items lost in the fire, which he later repaid when his insurers reimbursed him.

* John Prescott

The taxpayer paid for the former deputy prime minister to fit the front of his home in Hull with mock Tudor boards and for his toilet seat to be repaired twice in two years.

* Margaret Moran

The Labour MP for Luton switched her second home to the house she shares with her partner, 100 miles from her constituency - just days before spending £22,500 on treating dry rot at the seafront property.

* Michael Martin

Mr Martin, who as Commons speaker fought to prevent MPs' expenses claims entering the public domain, spent more than £1,400 on chauffeurs in his Glasgow constituency.

* Barry Gardiner

The MP for Brent North made a profit of almost £200,000 from a flat mortgaged and renovated with the help of taxpayers' cash, it was alleged.

* Greg Barker

Mr Barker - the first prominent Tory to be caught up in the expenses row - reportedly made a £320,000 profit on a flat he bought at the taxpayers' expense.

* Vera Baird QC

Mrs Baird, who as Solicitor General is one of the government's top legal advisers, fell foul of expenses rules after trying to claim for Christmas decorations.

* Sinn Fein

Five Sinn Fein MPs raked in expenses of almost £500,000 for running a second home - despite not taking up their seats in the Commons.

The party's two most senior figures, president Gerry Adams and Northern Ireland deputy first minister Martin McGuinness, were said to have jointly claimed £3,600 a month to rent a shared two-bedroom flat in the capital, which a local estate agent suggested would be worth £1,400 a month.

The three other MPs together claimed £5,400 a month to rent a shared town house estimated to be worth around £1,800 a month.

* John Gummer

The former Tory cabinet minister claimed £9,000 a year for gardening, charging the taxpayer hundreds of pounds for treating insect "infestations" and removing moles and jackdaw nests from his Suffolk property, and for an annual "rodent service".

* Stephen Byers

The former Trade Secretary used the expenses system to claim more than £125,000 for the London flat owned by his partner, the paper said.

Over the past five years, Mr Byers spent more than £27,000 on redecoration, maintenance and appliances at the flat in Camden, north London.

The claims included extensive renovations to the outside of the entire building, which consists of four flats.

Documents showed Mr Byers put the entire £12,000 bill for the work - including his partner's share - on expenses.

* John Reid

According to leaked receipts, the former Home Secretary appears to enjoy his creature comforts when in his Scottish constituency.

Mr Reid's claims included a £199 pouffe, a £370 armchair, an £899 sofa and a £29.99 a "black glitter toilet seat".

* Tony Blair

The former Prime Minister was able to use his parliamentary expenses to remortgage his constituency home for £296,000 - nearly 10 times what he paid for it - just months before buying a west London house for £3.65 million.

The claims, some of which were revealed last year under a Freedom of Information request, showed interest repayments on his constituency home amounted to almost a third of the new mortgage - enough to cover the deposit on the new house.

The London town house was one of five properties owned by Mr Blair - reportedly worth a total of £10 million, the newspaper reported.

* Kevin Brennan

The junior minister was said to have had a £450 widescreen television delivered to his family home in Wales and then claimed it on his allowance for his second home in London.

* Kitty Ussher

The Department for Work and Pensions minister drew up a list of renovations she hoped to make to her London house and asked Commons officials to "pay as much as you are able!"

* Iain Wright and Tom Watson

Mr Wright, a junior housing minister, asked if he could buy furniture before he had even bought the property he shares with Mr Watson.

He was told it would be better to wait until after the general election in case he lost his seat.

He told the Commons authorities: "It seems stupid to carry it over into next year when a large chunk of my (allowance) would go unused."

Comments