Page last updated at 06:59 GMT, Thursday, 18 June 2009 07:59 UK

N Ireland MPs expenses published

Mark Devenport
BBC Northern Ireland political editor

A packed House of Commons
Commons authorities had been ordered to release the information

The expenses claims of every Northern Ireland MP for the past four years have been published, but with some details blacked out.

Commons authorities have published the details of all MPs after a long-running Freedom of Information battle.

The addresses that claims relate to - and correspondence - have been removed on privacy and security grounds.

Much of the information is already out in the open after being leaked to the Daily Telegraph.

More than one million documents were published on the House of Commons website at 0600 BST on Thursday.

Sandwich press

MPs are listed alphabetically.

Click on Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and you can find claims ranging from painting and decorating at £1,410 down to a sandwich press at £19.99 and a first aid kit at £22.99.

The First Minister Peter Robinson charges for house repairs at £1,504, a tub chair at £235 and a clock at £31.45.

There are big claims for mortgage payments and small ones for office equipment - the SDLP Deputy leader Alasdair McDonnell charged 20 pence for staples and 22 pence for pencils.

In contrast to the information leaked to the Daily Telegraph, large sections of these documents are blacked out for security reasons.

The Daily Telegraph says that if this had been the only information available to the public, practices, such as flipping, jargon for an MP changing which home they say is their main residence, would never have been exposed.

Last night the Junior Treasury Minister, Kitty Ussher, resigned because of allegations that by switching homes she avoided paying capital gains tax on the sale of her home.

The MP insists she did nothing wrong.

To find out more about your MP's expenses use the options below.


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