EXPENSES: I don’t claim for food, for taxis, I never travel first class and I’ve never had a claim refused says NE Cambs MP

MP STEVE Barclay said today his constituents shouldn’t be alarmed that his Parliamentary expenses – at �123,310- have topped the region’s results.

He said he was one of only a handful of new MPs in the region and set up costs for offices and equipment was always going to be more expensive in the short term.

And he emphasised that two thirds of the sum claimed went directly on staff costs.

He also revealed that under the new Parliamentary expenses regime he was forced to sell his flat in London and rent a flat at an additional cost to taxpayers of over �1,000 a month.

“The biggest difference between me and others is on accommodation,” he said. “Existing MPS were allowed to continue charging mortgage interest for two years but new MPs were not allowed to.

“It meant I had to sell my flat in Waterloo after I got elected because I couldn’t afford to run two homes, one in London and one in the constituency.”

However because he and his wife have a new baby they have been forced to rent a two bedroom flat in London which has pushed up the costs.

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Mr Barclay said: “The difference between me and those who were MPs before the election is that they could claim mortgage interest for two more years- ironic really since some of those, but not in this area, were caught up in the expenses scandal.”

He had also made a decision to move out of the Conservative Association office to a new office to ensure visitors had disabled friendly access and that people of other political persuasions were not put off from wanting to see him.

He added: “I don’t claim for any food, for any taxis, I have never travelled first class and I’ve never had a claim to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority rejected and never had a claim refused.”

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