Page last updated at 06:59 GMT, Thursday, 14 May 2009 07:59 UK

MP denies second home move claim

Stephen Crabb MP
Stephen Crabb has been an MP since 2005

A Conservative MP who designated his family house in Wales as his second home while renting a flat in London has denied he did it for financial reasons.

Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb has responded to reports in the Daily Telegraph that he claimed £9,300 in stamp duty.

Mr Crabb said every decision he had made as an MP had been "made with the explicit guidance of the fees office".

More than 20 MPs are to pay back claims totalling nearly £130,000.

This comes after days of revelations from leaked receipts, published in the Telegraph.

The newspaper also claimed Mr Crabb had "flipped" his second home to his family residence in Wales from another London flat that was sold for a profit after more than £8,000 in taxpayer-funded refurbishments.

'Flipping'

Mr Crabb, who became an MP in 2005, said in a statement: "Every decision I have made about accommodation as Member of Parliament has been made with the explicit guidance of the fees office.

"Indeed, the switch of my designated second home from London to the constituency in October 2007 was actually suggested to me by an official in the fees office.

"At the time I was not just using a room in a flat rented by another MP in Westminster, as implied in the Daily Telegraph article, I was actually the joint-tenant on a fully commercial basis and shared all costs of the property.

"I reject the allegation of 'flipping' my London property to make a profit as a result of taxpayer-funded refurbishments. The flat I sold in August 2007 in south-east London was bought by me in 1997."

Mr Crabb added that during the 12 months that he claimed additional costs allowance (ACA) against this property he, along with all the freeholders on the estate, paid for "obligatory external paintwork to be done", and for five new windows following a burglary at the flat.

He said: "The cost of this work was approximately £3,000. I am advised that this capital work did not materially affect the sale value of the property.

"Over the last four years juggling family life in two locations 250 miles apart has been extremely difficult.

"It has not been easy achieving settled arrangements but at no stage have I sought to change addresses for capital gain or to avoid capital gains tax."



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SEE ALSO
MP admits mortgage expense error
13 May 09 |  UK Politics
Opik to repay tax summons expense
13 May 09 |  Mid Wales
Meet the MP: Stephen Crabb
20 Dec 05 |  UK Politics

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