Watchdog details £3.5m MP expenses
Details of £3.5 million worth of expenses claims by MPs have published by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa).
The 27,000 claims were made in August and September last year and released by the expenses watchdog as part of its regular updates on expenses.
Ipsa revealed that 51 claims from 40 MPs were knocked back, in part or in full, because they did not meet its criteria for reimbursement by the taxpayer.
Rejected claims ranged from the hundreds of pounds to one of just 20p after Manchester Withington MP John Leech, a Liberal Democrat, submitted a claim for £14.42 alongside a mobile telephone bill receipt for £14.22.
Mr Leech said Ipsa had done its job in stopping the 20p out of his phone bill claim. "There was a minor mistake made because a 4 was written down instead of a 2. Ipsa did their job and spotted it," he said.
Some 25 MPs had £13.50 stopped from their claims for telephone bills - the value of late payment penalty charges which Ipsa refuses to pay. MPs also repaid £26,944.97 of previously claimed expenses which they no longer wanted to keep.
Ipsa said reasons for repayments included MPs no longer wishing to claim for certain items or being refunded on utility bills or business rates for which they had already been imbursed by the taxpayer.
The biggest repayments were for £1,450 by Labour MP Anas Sarwar, who claimed the money for rent. Fellow Labour MP Natascha Engel paid back £837.39 of office rent.
The total claimed in the latest publication was down significantly on the previous two months - June and July - when £5.1 million was paid out in 34,000 claims.
However, the latest period covers claims processed during the summer recess, when MPs spend little time in Westminster, although they may have been incurred during an earlier period.