Page last updated at 22:19 GMT, Monday, 15 March 2010

Minister Khan repays 2,500 in greetings cards expenses

Sadiq Khan
Sadiq Khan made the expenses claims in 2005 and 2006

Transport Minister Sadiq Khan has paid back more than £2,500 he wrongly claimed in Commons expenses for greetings cards.

It follows a complaint from a local resident in Mr Khan's Tooting constituency in south London.

Parliamentary standards commissioner John Lyon said the MP had accepted he should not have claimed for the expenses and agreed to return £2,551.

The claims were for 18th birthday, Eid and Diwali cards, from 2005 and 2006.

Details of Mr Lyon's response were released by the Tory candidate for the Tooting seat, Mark Clarke.

In his letter to the complainant, released by Mr Clarke, Mr Lyon stated: "Mr Khan has readily accepted that he was in breach of the rules of the House in the claims he made for the 18th birthday and Eid and Diwali cards."

'Accepted responsibility'

Mr Lyon added: "Given the passage of time, Mr Khan is not able to recall how these mistakes occurred. He has pointed out that he was a new Member of Parliament at the time and that all of his staff were new.

"He has said that it is possible that neither he nor his staff checked the relevant rules or consulted the House authorities. Mr Khan has accepted responsibility for these errors and has apologised."

In his letter, Mr Lyon said Mr Khan had submitted one claim in December 2005 for £1,051.34 for 1,500 18th birthday cards, which was initially turned down by the House authorities.

The following month, however, it was paid following the presentation of a fresh invoice, "although the company sending the invoice did not identify it as being for greeting cards".

Mr Lyon said that he would be reporting what happened to the Commons Standards and Privileges Committee and now regarded the matter as closed.

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