Page last updated at 13:52 GMT, Monday, 7 September 2009 14:52 UK
MPs' expenses in detail

The Daily Telegraph has obtained details of MPs' expenses claims over the past four years which it has published.

Here is a summary of the claims made by some Conservative politicians and their reaction to the reports.

Bill Cash

Claim: The Telegraph says Mr Cash used parliamentary allowances to pay about £15,000 in rent to his daughter in 2004-5 after nominating her London flat as his second home. He did this, the paper said, even though he owned a flat closer to Westminster in which his son was staying rent free.

Response: Mr Cash said he drew up a formal tenancy agreement with his daughter which was approved by the Commons authorities before it took effect. He pointed out that the rules, prior to 2006, permitted MPs to rent properties off close family members. He added that he had not claimed any second home allowance for his country house in Shropshire, which would have cost the taxpayer far more. But he says he will repay any money if the party's internal scrutiny panel - which is looking at all MPs expenses claims - asks him to. And he will not claim any further expenses until Sir Christopher Kelly's Committee on Standards in Public Life produces its report in MPs' pay and perks.

Bernard Jenkin MP

Claim: The Telegraph claimed Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin used £50,000 in expenses to pay his sister-in-law rent for the property he uses as his constituency home.

Response: Mr Jenkin told the BBC there was "no suggestion of property speculation" or "phantom mortgages" and that he was just paying "an honest and reasonable rent". He also said he had himself argued for "sweeping changes" of the expenses system.

"I have devoted my life to public service and I now find myself devastated," he added.


Claim: The Sunday Telegraph alleged that the former Tory chief whip claimed £20,000 for renovations on his farmhouse under the second home allowance.

David Maclean

However, he avoided paying thousands in capital gains tax by declaring to Revenue and Customs that it was his main home when selling it for £750,000, according to the paper.

Response: Mr Maclean denied "flipping" the designation of his home to avoid paying tax. He said that when he became opposition chief whip in 2001, the Fees Office told him that as a paid office holder it was compulsory to designated his London flat as his main home. When he left the role, he changed the designation back to his constituency house, he said.

The Penrith and The Border MP said he had never sought to refurbish his constituency property at taxpayers' expense and that he had submitted a statement detailing more than £40,000 in expenditure to provide "ample evidence" of running costs covering the maximum claim. "I did not claim for trees, nor fence posts, nor an item of jewellery", he said, adding that an item labelled "Brooch" was a mis-spelled reference to the local window cleaner Steve Broatch. He said that in a letter to the Fees Office he had estimated his mortgage payments to be £6,000 but erred on the side of caution to declare £5,000, which was "hardly the sign of someone fiddling one's expenses".

Jonathan Djanogly MP

Claim: Shadow business secretary Jonathan Djanogly claimed almost £5,000 to have automatic gates installed at his home. The Telegraph also says the MP claimed £13,962 for cleaning over four years and £12,951 for gardening.

Response: Mr Djanogly said the gates were installed at his Huntingdon constituency home on police advice. He said they were designed to protect him from potential attacks by animal rights activists after he helped constituents with links to the Huntingdon Life Sciences laboratories.

Referring to the cleaning and gardening claims, he said they were "allowable". Nevertheless, Mr Djanogly has agreed to repay £25,000 after talking to the Conservative expenses scrutiny panel.

He added: "I want to stress that I completely understand the public's concerns about MPs' expenses and my party's absolute determination to respond to that concern."

Julian Lewis MP

Claim: The New Forest East MP claimed more than £7,000 for redecorating his second home, installing a new oven, hob, dishwasher and washing machine and buying items such as a £119 trouser press, £5 "sweater tidy" and a £4 tin of wax polish. The Telegraph said he also asked Commons officials whether he could claim more than £6,000 for a wooden floor, but was told he could not.

Response: Mr Lewis published a letter from the Telegraph, which suggested his purchases may have breached the letter or spirit of the Commons rules, on his website. He claimed he had been targeted by the newspaper because of his stance in trying to block publication of MPs' home addresses.

The MP said the flat had not been decorated for a decade when he bought it in 2004 and so "the time had come" for it to be done. The kitchen appliances were worn out and he replaced them with equivalents, he said. And he argued: "Anybody who wears a pair of trousers or a suit needs a trouser press unless they are going to stay up all night ironing them." He added that the £98 he spent on two rugs should be compared to the £1,000 or more he could have spent on a new carpet.

Mr Lewis denied that he "tried to claim" £6,000 spent on wooden floors. He said: "After refurbishing my Westminster flat in 2006 I faxed the list of works done, including the installation of the floor, to the fees Office for advice on what would and would not be claimable. Their response that only the flooring would not be appropriate was accepted at once, without question or challenge and no claim for it was ever submitted. Seeking and accepting preliminary guidance in this way does not constitute trying to 'stretch the rules', let alone attempting 'to claim £6,000 for a wooden floor'.


Claim: The shadow home secretary claimed thousands of pounds for renovations to a London flat 17 miles from his family home.

Chris Grayling MP

The paper also alleged he delayed putting in claims so he could received the maximum in Additional Costs Allowance (ACA) over consecutive years. It said he owned four properties within the M25, including his constituency home in Ashtead, Surrey, and the Pimlico flat for which he claimed his expenses.

Response: Mr Grayling said: "In addition to serving my constituents, I have spent several years serving in the shadow cabinet. A second home enables me to meet those commitments." In response to the delayed claims allegation he said all claims had been submitted "at the point which I received the invoices". He said he had made this clear to the fees office at the time. He will no longer claim for his second home in London, although he will not be paying any of the allowances back.


Claim: More than £2,000 was received by Oliver Letwin to replace a leaking pipe under a tennis court at his Somerset home.

Oliver Letwin MP

The chairman of the Conservatives' policy review team also claimed hundreds of pounds to have an Aga cooker serviced regularly.

Response: Mr Letwin said he had been served a statutory notice by the water company to repair the leaking pipe, which runs underneath the tennis court and garden. "No improvements were made to the tennis court or garden," he added.

He also said the Aga had been installed before they moved into the property: "It would have cost a great deal to remove it. The Aga is the only means of preparing hot food and requires regular servicing." He will pay the £2,000 back for the pipe repairs.


Michael Gove MP

Claim: The shadow schools secretary is accused of so-called "flipping", after the Telegraph reported he spent more than £7,000 on furnishing a London property over five months in 2006, before switching his allowance to a Surrey property and claiming more than £13,000 in moving costs. He is also reported to have claimed £500 for one overnight stay at a hotel while between house moves.

Response: Mr Gove strongly denied "flipping". He said his principal home had been in Surrey since before his election in May 2005. A London property that had previously been rented out was designated as his second home from later that year, he said. But he added: "I do believe there were one or two occasions where I spent more money than I should have. People are right to be angry about the current system." Mr Gove has agreed to pay back £7,000 in furniture costs.


Claim: Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley changed his designated second home in order to claim more expenses.

Andrew Lansley MP

The paper said he spent thousands renovating a country cottage before selling it, then designated a London flat as his second home and claimed for thousands of pounds in furnishings.

Response: The tactic known as "flipping" is denied by Mr Lansley. "Until late 2005, my main family home was in London as that is where I spent the majority of my time. In late 2005 my daughter started at nursery school in Cambridgeshire and from that point onwards my constituency home became my main residence. In my view it would have been contrary to the requirements of the ACA (Additional Costs Allowance) if I had not switched the definition of my main residence at that point. All subsequent claims reflect this legitimate change in my arrangements." Mr Lansley has agreed to pay back £2,600 for home improvements.


Claim: Shadow cabinet office minister Francis Maude claimed almost £35,000 in mortgage interest payments on a London flat that he bought, close to a house he already owned and then rented out, said the Telegraph.

Francis Maude MP

Response: "The London house I rented out had been bought, renovated and furnished with our own money, with the exception of a modestly priced replacement bed. The new flat purchased was therefore properly designated as our second home and enabled me to carry out my parliamentary duties. It was also renovated and furnished entirely with our own money." Mr Maude has agreed to stop claiming second home allowances on his London home.


Claim: According to the Telegraph, a £3,194 bill for gardening submitted by Mr Duncan in March 2007 was not paid after officials said it might not be "within the spirit" of the rules.

Alan Duncan MP

In a letter, the fees office said gardening costs were intended "to cover only basic essentials such as grass cutting". But the paper said Mr Duncan, the shadow Commons leader, who oversees party policy on MPs' expenses, recouped £4,000 for gardening costs over three years. In March 2007, he claimed £598 to overhaul a ride-on lawnmower, it said.

Response: Mr Duncan initially challenged the report, saying he had consulted officials about what could and could not be claimed for, but later agreed to repay £5,000.


Claim: Reimbursement of £4.47 for dog food and £305.50 to "cure noise problems" with her boiler.

Cheryl Gillian MP

Response: The shadow Welsh secretary did acknowledge that the pet food claim had been made by mistake and would be repaid.

On the subject of the boiler expense, she said "The boiler broke down. A plumber repaired it. That is within the rules."


David Willetts MP

Claim: The shadow universities secretary claimed more than £100 for workmen to replace 25 light bulbs at his second home in West London.

Response: "We had problems with our lighting system which had caused many lights to fuse and needed the attention of an electrician," he said. He has agreed to repay around £115 for the electrical work.


Claim: Mr Barker was said to have bought a flat with the help of taxpayers' money and sold it after just 27 months at a £320,000 profit.

Greg Barker MP

Response: The shadow climate change minister said the Telegraph had not taken into account the fact he had invested a "very substantial six-figure sum" of his own money into the house, which he had not claimed back. "It would be completely inaccurate and untrue for the Telegraph to allege that the difference in purchase and sale price represented a profit," he said.


Claim: The former Tory cabinet minister claimed £9,000 a year for gardening, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

John Gummer MP

It says he charged the taxpayer hundreds of pounds for treating insect "infestations", removing moles and jackdaw nests from his Suffolk property, and for an annual "rodent service", the paper said. It was reported Mr Gummer initially claimed around £200 a month towards the interest on the £60,000 mortgage on his constituency home but that when other expenses were added he claimed close to the maximum of over £20,000 most years.

Response: Mr Gummer said his London property was designated his main residence when he was a minister and is the family home. In relation to his constituency home, he had "only ever claimed the relevant proportion of the costs of necessary maintenance and repairs of an old rural property". This included a "significant part" of the gardening expense. Mr Gummer said he had always believed the allowance should not be used for capital gain, food or furniture, had paid his own mortgage for most of his Commons career and had one of the lowest overall claims in the house.

Bill Wiggin MP

Claim: The Daily Telegraph said Mr Wiggin, a junior whip, received £11,000 in expenses for mortgage interest on a home he owned outright.

Response: Mr Wiggin admitted he put the wrong address on several expenses forms due to "human error", but insisted he has only ever claimed expenses on his London home. He apologised for his mistake, but added: "I haven't claimed public money for a mortgage I haven't got."


Claim: Sir Michael, one of the most senior Tory MPs as chairman of the influential 1922 committee, is reported to have claimed £620 to install a chandelier and for rewiring and more than £1,000 for servicing an oven.

Sir Michael Spicer

He also claimed more than £5,650 for gardening work at his Worcestershire manor - on which the newspaper says he has no mortgage. He is also reported to have claimed for cutting the hedge around the "helipad" - although he told the newspaper that was a family joke.

Response: Sir Michael said he wanted to make clear he has no "helipad" and added: "The so-called 'chandelier' is a modest light fitting the size of a football; I paid for it myself. It was installed as part of an electrical safety refit."


Claim: Backbencher David Heathcoat-Amory claimed more than £380 for horse manure over three years as well as submitting bills for other items including £2 of mouse poison and £1.95 for sunflower seeds, the Telegraph reports.

David Heathcoat-Amory MP

The newspaper says he owns both his designated second home, near Glastonbury, and a house in London, outright.

Response: He told the newspaper: "I confirm that I claimed for gardening costs for my second home and these were paid by the fees office. I also confirm that the house in question is and always has been my second home."

Douglas Hogg MP

Claim: The Telegraph says former cabinet minister Douglas Hogg submitted claims for more than £2,000 to clear a moat around his Lincolnshire estate and £14,500 for a housekeeper.

Response: Mr Hogg said it was wrong to say he had claimed for the moat. In a statement, he said the costs were included on paperwork submitted to the fees office but were not claimed. But he told the BBC he had claimed for the housekeeper.

Tory MP Anthony Steen

Claim: The long-standing MP for Totnes is alleged by the Telegraph to have claimed £87,000 over four years for his country home, including paying a forestry expert to inspect his trees.

Response: Mr Steen told the BBC he was being "pilloried" for the transparency of his claims and had never claimed for mortgage interest on the property. He described the expenses system as "appalling" and "unworkable". The MP also reportedly told the Telegraph that he would meet the Tory scrutiny panel next week and would repay any sum requested of him.


Claim: The Telegraph says the deputy speaker claimed £142,119 in second homes allowances since 2001, despite having no mortgage on the property.

Sir Alan Haselhurst

His claims reportedly included £12,000 over five years for gardening.

Response: He told the BBC that he spent £142,000 on the upkeep of his home and says his claims were within the rules. He told the Telegraph: "People will judge how far these things are necessary, quite a lot of people would regard even the existence of the allowances as something they are not sure MPs should have. My view is that it should have been dealt with through salary which is taxable."


Claim: Former shadow defence secretary Michael Ancram, who is the marquess of Lothian, is reported to have claimed almost £100 for the repair of a swimming pool boiler.

Michael Ancram

He also asked for reimbursement of £1,117.43 for a gardening bill which included "cleaning up moss etc" at a house in Wiltshire. The newspaper said none of the three properties owned by the Ancram family has a mortgage.

Response: The Devizes MP said he had made a "genuine mistake" on the swimming pool claim and would repay the money. But he said the other claims were necessary to maintain his property, adding none "could be considered extravagant or luxurious".


Claim: According to the Telegraph, Mr Arbuthnot claimed £1,471 for "grass, trim, pool, fuel" costs at his property in Hampshire.

James Arbuthnot

He also reportedly claimed £2,433 for a housekeeper. Mr Arbuthnot, chairman of the defence select committee, reportedly claimed £108,062 in the past five years.

Response: He said he would be repaying the money claimed for the swimming pool work. "The claims were an error of judgement on my part. I'm sorry I made them and will repay them in full," he told the Telegraph.


Claim: The third Tory MP to claim for costs associated with a swimming pool, Mr Jackson reportedly claimed more than £66,000 for his family home in Peterborough.

Stewart Jackson

Response: He told the Telegraph the £304.10 claimed for work on the pool was a one-off but "could be construed as excessive" and said he would repay it. He said he believed his use of the allowance had represented "value for money" and he had always abided by the rules.

David Davis

Claim: The former shadow home secretary David Davis reportedly claimed for more than £10,000 of home renovations and furnishings, including a new £5,700 portico at his home in Yorkshire.

Response: Mr Davis told the Telegraph he had the new portico built to deal with "severe water damage" and it had been replaced on "a like for like basis". Later he told the BBC: "I claimed more than £5,000 less then the maximum last year. That's not the action of somebody trying to maximise their income on this or make money out of it or play the system or whatever you like - that's why I would like to see a much more rigorous system."

Sir Peter Viggers

Claim: The MP for Gosport claimed £30,000 in gardening expenses, including £1645 for a "duck island" in his pond. The BBC has learned he will step down at the next general election after Conservative leader David Cameron told him he faced the removal of the whip.

Response: Sir Peter said his claims were "in accordance with the rules at the time" and were approved by the fees office.


Claim: The Daily Telegraph reported that the shadow transport secretary claimed nearly £16,000 in stamp duty and fees for a south London flat, despite having another house in London only 14 miles from Westminster.

Theresa Villiers

For two years she claimed the much-lower inner London allowance. But later switched to the more generous second homes allowance - claiming £18,181 in total, the newspaper said.

Response: She said in a statement that she had bought a second home in 2008. "All the claims relate to that second home and are legitimate and within the rules," she said. All outer-London MPs will be stopped from claiming the more generous allowance from next April under new rules but David Cameron has said Ms Villiers, and other shadow cabinet members in similar positions, will stop making the claims immediately.


Claim: The Telegraph says the shadow business secretary does not pay the full rate of council tax on either of his homes by effectively claiming both as his main residence.

Ken Clarke

He designates his London home as his second home with the Commons - allowing him to claim expenses, including for council tax. But he does not claim the 10% council tax second homes discount. Instead, it is reported, he claimed a 25% council tax discount on his constituency home in Rushcliffe, saving himself £650 a year, the paper says.

Response: Mr Clarke said he designated his London house as his second home "because I only own it in order to carry out my duties as an MP" and that saved the taxpayer money."My London home is a two-up, two-down terrace house in Lambeth. My Nottingham home is a much bigger detached four-bedroom house. I could have made much larger claims on the taxpayer for my Nottingham house over the years," he said. He added that the rules about what the Parliamentary authorities regard as a main home are not the same as the rules on qualification for a discount on council tax. But he has now agreed to stop the discount on his constituency home.


Claim: The Telegraph said the shadow environment secretary claimed for stamp duty on a home he jointly owned with his partner.

Nick Herbert

It says he claimed £10,000 of the £14,700 stamp duty on his constituency home as well as claiming for the entire monthly mortgage interest, £1,893, - even though his partner's name was on the deeds.

Response: He told the newspaper: "My partner and I purchased a house in Arundel after I was elected in 2005 and I have claimed for some of the cost in accordance with the rules which treat partners and civil partners in the same way as spouses."


Claim: Mr Osborne put a £440.62 bill for a chauffeur company to drive him from Cheshire to London on 11 November 2005 on expenses, the Telegraph says.

George Osborne

He also reportedly claimed hundreds of pounds for cleaning and remortgaged his second home in Cheshire, which increased his monthly mortgage interest bill from £1,560 a month to nearly £1,900.

Response: He has said he will pay back the chauffeur bill. He said he had missed the last train after an evening constituency function and his own car was not available but he had to be in London early the next day. He told the BBC: "It was the only time in four or five years that I used a car and driver to make that journey, one of the reasons I have repaid that money already is because I don't want there to be any question mark over the expenses I claim." He said he had remortgaged his home in March 2008 to take advantage of a more competitive rate on his interest-only mortgage.


Claim: The Conservative leader claimed a total of £82,450 on his second home allowance over five years - mostly on mortgage interest payments and utility bills for his constituency home in Oxfordshire.

David Cameron

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

Response: Mr Cameron said he would return the £680 "the only maintenance bill I have claimed in eight years" - saying he had always considered whether claims were reasonable, but adding: "Looking back, maybe that's borderline so let's pay it back and be done with it". Asked to justify claiming the full allowance for his constituency home he said: "Yes, I do claim quite a lot of money for that, I have always tried to arrange my affairs so the whole family goes from London and then down to the constituency and back again - I find that's the right way to keep my family together and yes, that does mean we have two houses of a certain size."


Stephen Crabb

Claim: The Telegraph says Mr Crabb claimed £8,000 towards refurbishing his flat in south London prior to selling it in 2007. It says he then re-designated his second home as a property he was buying for his family in Wales, reportedly allowing him to claim more than £9,000 in stamp duty. According to the paper, his first home then became a room in a London flat owned by fellow Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski where he paid half rent.

Response: Mr Crabb rejects claims that he "flipped" his second home designation in 2007 to avoid paying capital gains tax, saying he was advised to do so by the Commons Fees Office. He says he only claimed the second homes allowance for his London flat for one year. Essential work, such as replacing windows after a burglary, costing £3,000 was carried out and this did not affect the value of the flat when it was sold in 2007. While living with Mr Kawczynski, he said he paid full rent and shared all the other living costs but has now moved out. He says he stopped claiming the allowance on his constituency home last summer, transferring to another London flat, and did not use any public money to fund renovation work, saying this would have been "inappropriate".


Claim: The Telegraph said the former Treasury minister continued to claim a second home allowance for his constituency home in Oxfordshire in early 2005 even though his main residence was, at one point, a room in a London private members' club.

John Maples

Response: Mr Maples said he never stated a club in London's Pall Mall was his main residence. After moving out of his London home in September 2004, he said his search for a new property took "far longer than expected", leading him to spend time in a hotel and a friend's flat as well as the club. He finally moved into a new property in April 2005. However, he said the Fees Office had sanctioned continued allowance payments for his Oxford home during the period after he sought their advice. He said he believed he had set out the facts "openly and honestly" but would be willing to pay back any money if a Conservative scrutiny committee on expenses determined he should.


James Gray

Claim: The Telegraph says the Tory MP claimed £2,000 for the redecoration of a property in which he ex-wife was living, submitting it on the day that he moved out of the property. It says he then claimed £5,000 towards the cost of moving to a new property. The paper also alleges Mr Gray claimed £190 for logs and attempted to claim for a £45.37 phone bill from his main residence - a claim which was rejected.

Response: Mr Gray told the Commons Fees Office that he was involved in a dispute with the landlord of his ex-wife's property about the cost of renovation and agreed to pay half the cost of the work - amounting to £2,000. He paid the money - which he said was needed to treat dilapidation - directly to the landlord under the terms of the lease agreement. He said he believed the claim for logs was within the spirit of the rules and all his second home claims were within the rules. The claim for a £47 phone bill was a "genuine error" and was never paid.


Ed Vaizey

Claim: The Telegraph said that the Wantage MP claimed for £2,000 of furniture which was delivered to his London home when his designated second home was in Oxfordshire.

Response: Mr Vaizey said he had repaid the claims, as they were believed to be "higher quality than necessary".


Claim: The former shadow minister for local government claimed more than £2,000 of furniture for his second home in London but had it delivered to his parents' home in Wiltshire.

Robert Syms

Response: The MP for Poole in Dorset said it was a sensible arrangement that suited his busy parliamentary life. "If I had had it delivered to London, I would have had to spend all the day waiting for a delivery, when obviously I am busy in Parliament," he explained.

"My parents took delivery and then I took it up to London a week or two later to my second address."


Alistair Burt

Claim: The Daily Telegraph says the Conservative whip over-claimed for £1,000 in rent but was permitted to keep the money. For five months in 2006, the paper says, Mr Burt was reimbursed for £200 above the actual cost of the monthly rent on his second home in London. However, the paper says he was told he could keep the money because he had not claimed the cost of any food during the period. During 2004 and 2005 - when he was an aide to leader Michael Howard - Mr Burt is said to have claimed £13,000 towards hotel bills near Westminster. This included nightly room charges ranging from £70 to £200.

Response: Mr Burt has apologised for what he says was an oversight over the rent. In response, he did not claim for any food for the remainder of 2006 which he told the paper had "put right" the situation. He has agreed to repay £229.24 spent on snacks and drinks at hotels. Although this seemed "perfectly fair" at the time, he recognised expectations over what was permissible had changed.

Michael Fallon

Claim: The Sevenoaks MP claimed £8,300 too much in expenses for the mortgage on his second home, the Daily Telegraph said. Mr Fallon, deputy chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, claimed for his entire mortgage payments when MPs are only allowed to claim interest charges. His mistake was flagged by the fees office in September 2004. He repaid £2,200 and was allowed to offset the remaining £6,100 against his allowance.

Response: Mr Fallon told the newspaper that the error was "an inadvertent mistake for which I accept responsibility". All his other claims, he added, "were routine costs properly authorised and allowable at the time".

Sir Paul Beresford

Claim: The Tory MP for Mole Valley designated his London property - which includes a dental practice where he works up to three days a week - as his second home and charged taxpayers for three-quarters of running costs, the Daily Telegraph said.

Response: Sir Paul told the newspaper that his claims were among the lowest in the Commons. He said the arrangement "cost the taxpayer less" and that he had lost out financially by cutting back his surgery hours and not claiming for another second home. He added: "The taxpayer is not subsidising my practice".


Patrick McLoughlin

Claim: According to the Telegraph, the Conservative chief whip spent £3,000 on new windows at his second home in Derbyshire. He claimed more than £80,000 towards the cost of his second home over four years, it says, including a quarter of the cost of a £12,630 bill for installing new windows. Other claims included £1,268 on internal decorations, £1,388 to paint external walls and £450 for a new thermostat for a bathroom. The paper says some of the receipts were made out in the name of the MP's wife, who is also his constituency office assistant. MPs are not allowed to claim for the living costs of anyone but themselves.

Response: Mr McLoughlin, who is a member of a new internal panel examining all Tories' expenses claims, says all of his own claims towards his second home were for routine maintenance and to tackle wear and tear.


Claim: The former cabinet minister was paid twice for a £3,000 claim he submitted for decorating his second home.

John Redwood

The Telegraph also reported that Mr Redwood moved the designation of his second home three times between 2004 and 2008.

Response: The former Welsh secretary admitted that he had made the duplicate claim by mistake and had repaid the money in full.

On the subject of changing his second home, he denied "flipping", and said he had made no financial gain from the moves.

He said: "On no occasion have I sought to profit from having a second home, not have I flipped properties to advantage myself and disadvantage the taxpayer. Any suggestion that I did would be wrong."

Peter Luff

Claim: The Mid-Worcestershire MP claimed over £17,000 in household goods over four years - including three lavatory seats and ten sets of bed linen.

Response: Mr Luff said he was "really appalled" at the allegations and insisted he always tried to keep costs down.

Keith Simpson

Claim: The MP for Mid Norfolk has spent almost £200 on light bulbs for his rented flat near Westminster over four years, the Daily Telegraph said.

Response: Mr Simpson told the newspaper that his basement flat had over 30 halogen lights which were an "integral" part of the ceiling. He added: "Because they are halogen bulbs they are quite expensive and have a tendency to expire easily. As a basement flat, it probably requires more artificial light than a ground floor flat."

Sir George Young

Claim: Sir George, widely tipped as a contender to replace Michael Martin as speaker, claimed £127,159 in second home expenses on his London flat between 2001 and 2008, including the maximum allowance on the property over the past two years, according to the Daily Telegraph. His expenses included £699 on a washer-dryer and £449 on a dishwasher, although both claims were reduced by the fees office. Sir George, who is chairman of the standards and privileges committee, also failed to claim a council tax discount to which he was entitled, charging the taxpayer for the full amount instead.

Response: Sir George told the Telegraph that he "didn't know about the discount" on council tax. He added that electrical items were "like-for-like" replacements for goods which were in the flat when he bought it and which had become beyond repair. He has published all of his claims from 2006/7 onwards on his website.

John Bercow

Claim: The Buckingham MP, touted as a candidate for the Speaker's chair, "flipped" his second home from his constituency to a £540,000 flat in London and claimed the maximum possible allowances, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Response: The MP said he switched his second home to London after he and his wife "chose to base ourselves in Buckinghamshire". But in 2009 he changed it back after his son started school in London.

Anne Main

Claim: Ms Main claimed a 10% second home discount on her council tax for a flat in her St Albans constituency in which her daughter lived rent-free, the Daily Telegraph said. This discount is only available where there is no full-time occupant. Mrs Main also claimed taxpayers for £1,095.68 a month in mortgage interest payments for the flat, alongside service charges, utility bills and furnishing costs. Her main residence is 25 miles away in Beaconsfield, Bucks - just six miles further from Westminster than the flat.

Response: Ms Main told the newspaper that her daughter was moving out. The MP insisted that she consulted the Commons fees office and was told the arrangement was "perfectly acceptable".

David Lidington

Claim: The Aylesbury MP charged taxpayer almost £1,300 for toothpaste, body spray, shower gel and vitamin supplements on his second home allowance.

Response: Mr Lidington told the paper that he had paid back the "over-generous" claims for toiletries.

James Clappison

Claim: The shadow work and pensions minister - who owns 24 houses - claimed over £100,000 in allowances, the Daily Telegraph said. This included £3,166 since 2004 for work on his garden, the paper added. In a typical month, it said, he claimed £300 for food, up to £125 for a cleaner and £31 for his cable TV bill.

Response: The Hertsmere MP said he had voluntarily submitted his claims for review to the fees office. "They found that my claims were not only entirely within the rules but also within the spirit of the rules," he added.

Ann and Sir Nicholas Winterton

Claim: The couple - MPs for Macclesfield and Congleton respectively - claimed more than £80,000 for a London flat owned by a trust controlled by their children. In 2008 the parliamentary standards watchdog said they had unwittingly broken the rules.

Response: When the watchdog's inquiry was launched, Mr and Mrs Winterton said they had agreed the arrangement with the Commons fees office and would not have gone ahead otherwise. They have announced they will both stand down at the next general election.

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown


The shadow minister for international development "flipped" his second home from London to Gloucestershire, before buying a £2.75 million house, the Daily Telegraph said. He also claimed £87 a month for laundry and dry cleaning, and up to £400 a month for food.

Response: Mr Clifton-Brown, MP for the Cotswolds, told the Telegraph that he had claimed the London flat as a "second home" until he became assistant Chief Whip in 2005, which required him to spend more time in the capital. After moving house, he said he claimed a "very similar amount of interest" on his new mortgage.

Tory MP Nadine Dorries

Claim: The Telegraph accused Ms Dorries of spending only free weekends and holidays in the property she calls her main home. It said her claim of £18,000 in rent on the property she designates as her second home was therefore unjustified. The newspaper also said she claimed for a New Year's Eve hotel room and a lost £2,190 deposit on a rented flat.

Response: The MP for Mid Bedfordshire refused to clarify publicly what she considers to be her main home. Instead, she released a long statement on her blog explaining her various living arrangements.

Ms Dorries denied the allegation about the hotel room but said she had claimed for the lost deposit. She also wrote: "There is one thing I know about me better than anyone else. I never do anything I know to be wrong and I have common sense by the bucketful."

David Ruffley

Claim: The shadow minister for police reform "flipped" his second home from London to his constituency before claiming back thousands for furniture and fittings, including a sofa costing £1,674, the Daily Telegraph said. But the fees office refused the full amount when he claimed for a £2,175 television from Harrods, and a £6,765 claim for bedroom furniture and equipment was reduced by officials.

Response: Mr Ruffley, MP for Bury St Edmunds, told the newspaper that he changed the designation of his second home because his job meant he had to spend more time in London. He added that the taxpayer saved money as a result and that he paid two-thirds of the cost of the TV and 70% of the cost of the furniture himself.

Greg Knight

Claim: Mr Knight, who has a collection of classic cars, claimed £2,600 for repairs on the driveway of his second home as part of a £21,793 maintenance and security bill, the Sunday Telegraph said.

Response: The East Yorkshire MP told the newspaper that none of his claims was related to the cost of keeping his car collection. He said the driveway repairs had been "for the pathway area, over which no cars can be driven".

Mike Penning

Claim: The MP for Hemel Hempstead put a £2.99 stainless steel dog bowl on his second home expenses, the Daily Telegraph said.

Response: Mr Penning, a shadow health minister, told the newspaper: "This was claimed for mistakenly, for which I apologise sincerely and will pay back."

Angela Browning

Claim: The Tiverton & Honiton MP spent £10,000 of taxpayers' money setting up and running her website, according to the Daily Telegraph. She also spent £7,300 decorating and furnishing her second home, which included £1,000 for two radiator covers.

Response: Mrs Browning said she had followed guidance given to her by the fees office and insisted that she "tried very hard to work within the spirit of the rules".

Christopher Chope

Claim: The Christchurch MP claimed £881 for re-upholstering a Chesterfield sofa which he drove from London to a tradesman in his Dorset constituency, the Daily Telegraph said. He also claimed £10,377 on his second home expenses for repairing the roof of the London house he shares with his wife. Mr Chope also claimed £2,600 for a new bathroom at the property.

Response: Mr Chope told the Telegraph that he and his wife had loaded the Chesterfield into their Volvo estate and driven it to Christchurch, as the local craftsman offered better "value for money" and a "better job". The roof and bathroom claims were for essential repair work, he added.

Christopher Fraser

Claim: The South West Norfolk MP claimed over £1,800 in expenses to buy 215 trees and fencing to mark out the boundary of his house, the Daily Telegraph said.

Response: Mr Fraser told the paper: "I have been conscious whenever claiming that my costs must be wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred for the purposes of my parliamentary duties."

John Greenway

Claim: Mr Greenway spent £500 of taxpayers' money on pot plants and bushes for his garden, as well as £1,900 on redecorating his second home which he sold for a profit of £280,000, the Daily Telegraph said. The MP for Ryedale, North Yorkshire was also reimbursed for a 59p box of matches, two boxes of firelighters worth 99p each, four bags of compost, a trellis and plant food for the London property.

Response: Mr Greenway told the Telegraph: "All the claims which I have made over my 22 years in Parliament have been made in good faith and were approved by the fees office without query." He added that he had paid capital gains tax when he sold he property, and did not claim for moving costs or stamp duty.

Andrew MacKay and Julie Kirkbride

Claim: Mr MacKay, MP for Bracknell, voluntarily submitted his expenses details to party officials who concluded they showed an "unacceptable situation that would not stand up to public scrutiny". The details show that Mr MacKay and his wife, fellow Conservative MP Julie Kirkbride, have effectively been claiming the second home allowance for mortgage interest payments on two properties - one in London and one in the Midlands. Mr MacKay claimed more than £1,000 a month for interest payments on a joint mortgage for their London home while Ms Kirkbride claimed £900 for mortgage interest on her constituency home in Bromsgrove. The arrangements suggested neither had a first home. Parliamentary data show the couple have claimed 98% of the money available to them via the second homes allowance since 2004.

Ms Kirkbride re-mortgaged her second home by £50,000 to fund an extension so that her brother could live in the property, the Daily Telegraph said. The MP's brother also reportedly bought around £1,000 of electrical equipment using her parliamentary office expense account. Bromsgrove MP Ms Kirkbride also employed her sister - who lives 140 miles from the constituency - on a part-time salary of £12,000 to do clerical work for her.

Response: Mr MacKay has resigned as a parliamentary private aide to David Cameron and has apologised "profusely" for "letting a lot of people down". He said he took advice from the Commons fees office before claiming the allowance and had been open about the arrangement. He said he initially did not believe there was a problem - thinking his claims seemed reasonable - but he now realises there were an error of judgement. He confirmed the couple had been claiming these allowances for the past eight years. He has agreed to appear before the Tories' new internal scrutiny committee on expenses and says he is willing to repay any money deemed necessary. Mr MacKay has since announced he is stepping down as an MP at the next general election.

Ms Kirkbride said she needed an extra bedroom so her eight-year old son did not have to share a room with her 59-year old brother, who helps to look after her son. She said her sister worked from a computer which was networked to her London and Bromsgrove offices, and many constituents had "written to say how helpful she has been". The MP added that her brother sourced items on the internet at the cheapest price and they were "entirely in relation to my parliamentary duties". Ms Kirkbride has said she will stand down at the next election.

Sir John Butterfill

Claim: Sir John did not pay capital gains tax after making a profit of £600,000 from a house funded by the taxpayer, the Daily Telegraph said. The Bournemouth West MP reportedly lodged claims under second home allowance for his six-bedroom country house, complete with swimming pool and extensive grounds. He was reimbursed to the tune of £17,000 for servants' quarters.

Response: The MP has said he will repay £20,000 in tax and mortgage payments. He insisted he was given incorrect advice about what he could claim for a section of his house, later sold for £1.2m, occupied by a gardener. He told the BBC's Newsnight he had spent nearly £500,000 renovating a virtually "derelict" property in Woking and therefore any capital gain he would have made when selling it in 2005 would have been "minimal".

Peter Ainsworth

Claim: The East Surrey MP and former shadow environment secretary tried to claim £1,000 for a "pewter finish" radiator cover, but was told by the fees office that this would be excessive, the Daily Telegraph reported. He also looked into claiming over £8,000 in relation to work carried out on his garden but was again refused by the fees office.

Response: Mr Ainsworth said the radiator claim had been submitted in "error". He insisted that he had not claimed for gardening but had inquired as to what might be permissible before accepting advice.

David Amess

Claim: The Southend West MP's mortgage interest claims on a London flat did not waver from £600, the Daily Telegraph said. He claimed the maximum food allowance of £400 a month. In July 2004, a £600 claim was cut by £200.

Response: Mr Amess has not yet commented.

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