Tory MP Bob Blackman’s 700 dodgy mileage claims


Click to follow

A Conservative MP submitted a mileage claim for a 54-mile round trip by car between his west London constituency and Tottenham Hotspur training ground when the actual distance measured on Google Maps was 33 miles.

That was one out of 700 “inaccurate” claims put in by the Harrow East MP Bob Blackman, according to a report yesterday by the body in charge of checking MPs’ expenses. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) wants him to repay more than £1,000 that they say he has overclaimed since January 2013.

The compliance officer, Peter Davis, opened a formal investigation after Mr Blackman had been warned twice about his mileage claims. Ipsa warned him in October 2011 that his claims were six times higher than that of other London MPs. In December 2012, he was told that he appeared to have claimed for twice the distance that Google Maps would suggest that he had actually travelled, and “in some cases significantly more”. But an audit in 2013-14 showed that he had again racked up the highest mileage claims of any MP, proportionate to the size of his constituency.

Mr Blackman, who has 15 days to appeal, denied the allegations and called on Mr Davis to “withdraw your unwarranted allegations”. He added: “This is draconian and, more importantly, has no basis.”