Page last updated at 11:44 GMT, Thursday, 4 February 2010

MP Lembit Opik wins 900 parliamentary expenses appeal

Lembit Opik MP
Lembit Opik was ordered to repay 900

An MP has won an appeal against repaying hundreds of pounds in parliamentary expenses.

Montgomeryshire MP Lembit Opik was ordered to pay back £900 he claimed for a mobile phone bill.

Sir Thomas Legg, the retired civil servant auditing MPs' expenses, said the Liberal Democrat MP should not have been able to claim for the phone bill.

But Mr Opik won an appeal against the ruling. A total of 26 Welsh MPs are to pay back a combined £67,304.66.

Mr Opik's appeal has been allowed by Sir Paul Kennedy, the judge brought in to arbitrate on disputed claims.

Sir Thomas queried Mr Opik's use of a mid Wales electrician to work on his London flat, but allowed the claim after the MP said it saved the taxpayer money.

The former leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats has already repaid £155 for summons costs for failing to pay his council tax on time.

The MP, one of almost 80 MPs to challenge Sir Thomas, has actually repaid £195 in total, so is now technically owed £40 by the Commons authorities.

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