MP’s expenses - Sir Edward Leigh: ‘Low’ expenses for ‘above average’ time

Despite the vast majority of MPs working from home for much of 2020, many have still been claiming thousands of pounds in expenses.

MP Sir Edward Leigh.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority figures for the 2020-21 financial year shows UK MPs have claimed more than £9 million as of January 6.

The JPIMedia Data Unit has analysed the figures to find out how much has been claimed by MPs across the country, including the biggest and most unusual expenses.

It shows Market Rasen and Caistor MP, Sir Edward Leigh, made a total of 48 claims, totalling £7,650.17.

The largest claim was £4,454.61 which came under the category of Office Costs.

Sir Edward said: “Once again my expenses are among the lowest in the East Midlands. I don’t claim for rent or hotels, but I am well above average when it comes to speaking time in the Commons and I am rarely absent from votes.

“I put in for as many question times as possible and few MPs are as zealous as I am in trying to hold the executive to account.

“Outside of Covid-19 we have regular surgeries, but lately we’ve had to handle most cases by phone and email.

“So far as social distancing will allow, I still travel around the constituency to check up personally on what is going on, like inspecting the poor state of the buildings at Caistor Grammar recently which I then raised with Ministers in the House days later.”

Imran Ahmad-Khan, the Conservative MP for Wakefield, has been revealed as the highest ranking MP for spending.

He has spent £45,696 on 63 claims so far this year and his biggest expense has been office costs, with £34,473.52 spent.

Some of the more unusual claims by MPs include James Sunderland (Bracknell), who spent £450 on a constituency bible; Peter Bone (Wellingborough), £318 on a frosted window film to windows; Shabana Mahmood (Birmingham Ladywood, £43.52 on a footrest; Sarah Olney (Richmond Park) £40.97 on a plant, pot and soil for the office and Jane Stevenson (Wolverhampton North East, £9.98 on toilet roll holders.