Johnson claimed more than £80,000 for second home

I didn't even buy a bathplug, says London Mayor, who somehow racked up maximum expenses

Brian Brady,Jane Merrick
Sunday 23 October 2011 08:29

Boris Johnson claimed more than £80,000 for his second home allowance during his last four years in Parliament, although his constituency was less than 50 miles from Westminster.

The Mayor of London claimed a total of £85,299 from the Additional Costs Allowance (ACA) between 2004 and 2008 – including the maximum permitted £23,083 in 2007-08, before he quit as MP for Henley.

Mr Johnson's spokesman insisted yesterday that all the expenditure was legitimately incurred on his second home in his former constituency in Oxfordshire.

Details of the Mayor's spending headed a fresh list of revelations about expenses claims of a series of MPs. The Sunday Telegraph disclosed that many MPs who employ relatives have been able to claim extra expenses as a result of the arrangement. Some have been able to claim thousands for a main home, in addition to their second home, because their spouses work there on parliamentary business.

The paper claimed disgraced former ToryMP Derek Conway spent thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money on two family homes – one of which is 330 miles away from his Commons seat in south-east London.

Scottish Liberal Democrat president Malcolm Bruce was able to claim thousands of pounds to help run both his London flat and his constituency home in Scotland, because his wife works for him from their home on Deeside.

The new revelations emerged as Tory grandee Sir Peter Viggers was still dealing with the "duck island" claims that have forced the end of his 35-year career as an MP.

The Independent on Sunday has established that Sir Peter helped to secure £18,000 of public funds to partly pay for refurbishing his constituency party offices. The Gosport Conservative Association's statement of accounts for 2007 details spending on new central heating, windows, carpets and furniture, and toilet repairs. The report added: "All of this obviously cost a great deal of money – the association paid some of the cost and some £18,000 came from Peter Viggers, our MP, who took advantage of the Government's generosity to get some of this as a grant." Sir Peter, who said he felt "ashamed and humiliated" over his attempt to claim for a floating island to house his ducks, declined to comment on the new disclosures.

Further investigation of the expenses details has revealed Glasgow Labour MP John Robertson received £1,750 in monthly claims of £250 for "cash in hand" in the 2004-2005 financial year.

Meanwhile, it was reported last night that the expenses whistleblower had left a trail of bad debts from a succession of failed businesses. The Mail on Sunday said former SAS officer John Wick had left former military comrades tens of thousands of pounds out of pocket.

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