The Daily Telegraph discloses how Tory grandees have received tens of thousands of pounds to maintain manor houses and stately homes. One claimed successfully towards the cost of a full-time housekeeper with a salary package of £14,000 a year, along with a claim including £2,000 for clearing the moat surrounding his manor house. Another was allowed to claim for a “helipad” to be maintained.
The disclosures will further alarm taxpayers and add to concern over the operation of the House of Commons fees office, which is supposed to police the parliamentary expenses system.
The claims are among the most disturbing yet exposed during the Telegraph’s investigation. Claims that are “excessive or luxurious” are not permitted under the rules. HM Revenue and Customs may wish to investigate some of the claims.
After they were approached yesterday, three Conservative MPs announced that they would be repaying money they had claimed to maintain or heat private swimming pools at their second homes.
Over the past four days, the Telegraph has published a series of articles detailing questionable expense claims made by MPs from all political parties, including members of the Cabinet and shadow cabinet.
Last night, the Metropolitan Police announced that it was considering complaints it had received about the expenses of six MPs, including Geoff Hoon, the Transport Secretary, and Alistair Darling, the Chancellor