Tory MP to repay £1,500 expenses

A Conservative MP has been made to repay £1,500 after an official inquiry which found that he had wrongly claimed more than £50,000 of taxpayers' money to rent a flat his company owned.

Brian Binley, the MP for Northampton South continued to rent a flat owned by his company for three years after such an arrangement was banned in April 2006, but he was judged not to have made a personal financial benefit.

Mr Binley was also ordered to apologise in writing after the Committee on Standards and Privileges found he breached parliamentary rules.



The committee found that the Northampton South MP rented the flat from BCC Marketing Services Ltd, a company in which he, his wife and his son all owned a 20% stake each.



The full rental cost of £1,500 a month was claimed against his Additional Costs Allowance (ACA) and in total this amounted to £58,500 over three years, the Committee found.



The committee found that Mr Binley breached expenses rules which prohibit claiming the costs of leasing accommodation from a company in which an MP or an MP's family member have an interest.

This had been done in a "sustained and deliberate" way, it said.



Mr Binley rented the flat in Pimlico, central London, between February 2006 and April last year, during which time he renewed the lease annually and claimed the rent.



He is the company's non-executive chairman, from which he receives an annual salary of £8,000, and his son is the firm's managing director.



The committee said: "Mr Binley breached the rules of the House relating to claims against the Additional Costs Allowance and this was a serious matter - particularly so for the period from April 2007, when the deadline for bringing his second home arrangements within the revised rules had expired.



"The breach was sustained and it was deliberate, in that Mr Binley appears to have renewed his lease for a full 12 months.



"We regard this, together with Mr Binley's failure either to comply with the Department of Finance and Administration's determination of June 2006 or to pursue expeditiously his appeal against that determination, as a serious failure of his duty under the code of conduct to ensure at all times that his use of allowances provided from the public purse is strictly in accordance with the rules."



In its recommendation the committee stressed that Mr Binley "neither sought nor gained any personal financial advantage from his rental arrangement" which "cost no more and probably less" than alternative options.

This had been a mitigating factor, along with the fact that the DFA failed to enforce its letter informing him that the rules relating to the ACA were going to be changed in July 2006.



The DFA told Mr Binley he could continue claiming the rent on the property on his expenses until the end of the 2006-07 financial year.



The committee's report went on: "We conclude that the House authorities' failure to act on the deadline they had themselves set for Mr Binley to bring his second home arrangements within the revised rules was equally serious and that it allowed a highly unsatisfactory state of affairs to continue for far too long.



"This failure does not absolve Mr Binley of his responsibilities, but it is something that causes us great concern.



"As for Mr Binley's failure to register the benefit he received by virtue of his company's taking on of a range of costs associated with his use of the Pimlico property, we regard this breach as having been rectified.



"As the commissioner has noted, the benefit was, in effect, transferred to Parliament, because Mr Binley would have been entitled to claim for these costs had he paid them himself. The public purse did not lose out."



PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' embraces politics, religion, warfare, courage, love and loyalty, say creators
News
peopleThe Game of Thrones author said speculation about his health and death was 'offensive'
News
Justin Bieber performing in Paris earlier this year
people
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman and Lauren O'Neil in Jamie Lloyd's Richard III
theatreReview: The monarch's malign magnetism and diabolic effrontery aren’t felt
Arts and Entertainment
'Molecular Man +1+1+1' by Jonathan Borofsky at Yorkshire Sculpture park
tv
News
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
Extras
indybest
News
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Sport
Alexis Sanchez and apparently his barber Carlos Moles in Barcelona today
football
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has her magic LSD brain stolen in this crazy video produced with The Flaming Lips
video
Arts and Entertainment
In his own words: Oscar Wilde in 1882
theatreNew play by the Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials - and what they reveal about the man
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unless films such as Guardians of the Galaxy, pictured, can buck the trend, this summer could be the first in 13 years that not a single Hollywood blockbuster takes $300m
filmWith US films earning record-breaking amounts at the Chinese box office, Hollywood is more than happy to take its lead from its new-found Asian audience
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

VP - Group Compliance - Retail Bank

competitive: Real Staffing: VP - Group Compliance - Retail Bank A global banki...

Compliance Training Officer - Investment Bank

£60000 - £75000 per annum + highly competitive package: Real Staffing: A leadi...

Head Of Compliance Policy - Global Bank

MARKET RATE: Real Staffing: A Global Banking organisation has some exciting gr...

Business Studies Teacher

£21084 - £31868 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: We are looking for a...

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil