Three Lincolnshire MPs claim energy bills on expenses

Three MPs in Lincolnshire have claimed energy bills for their constituency or second homes on expenses totalling over £4,800, an investigation found.

An investigation by the Sunday Mirror discovered 340 MPs across the country — over half — claimed their gas, electricity and even other fuel bills to the expenses, mainly on their second home.

The MP claiming the most was Nadhim Zahawi, Conservative MP for Stratford upon Avon, who claimed back £5,822 on his constituency home, worth over £1 million.

The energy expenses bill across the country amounted to £200,000, paid for by taxpayers. However, MPs argue that they are not breaking any House of Commons rules.

In Lincolnshire, three MPs made up the sum of £4,828.21 with their energy bill claims.

The amount makes up 12 months of energy bills, from 2012 until March 2013.

According to the figures, the MPs in Lincolnshire claiming energy bills on their expenses were:

  • Nick Boles, MP for Grantham & Stamford (Conservative): £673.05 on Electricty, Gas, other fuel
  • John Hayes, South Holland & The Deepings (Conservative): £818.07 on Electricity and Gas
  • Edward Leigh, Gainsborough (Conservative): £3,337.09 on Gas & Electricity

The other three MPs in Lincolnshire — Lincoln’s Karl McCartney, Louth & Horncastle’s Sir Peter Tapsell and Boston & Skegness’ Mark Simmonds — claimed nothing for energy bills.

Nick Boles has declined to comment, while John Hayes did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publishing.

‘Figures not accurate,’ claims MP

— Updated on November 6: Edward Leigh MP issued a statement claiming that inaccurate expense figures were reported by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA).

“These figures are inaccurate,” Edward Leigh said. “It appears that IPSA have erroneously overstated the expenses I’ve claimed by over a thousand pounds.

“I have not claimed £3,337.09 for electricity and gas, but £2,329.54. IPSA were accurate in the actual payments made but then inaccurately recorded certain payments as having been made twice.”

“As I don’t claim any expense for rent or mortgages, I have one of the lower overall expense totals for Parliament. All of my claims are completely in line with IPSA’s guidelines and the 300 MPs who don’t claim back any energy costs most likely have it included in their monthly rent.”

“IPSA claims that ‘transparency lies at the heart of [their] regulatory role’. If the figures for my expenses have been marked down wrong, and then made public, I wonder how many other MPs are in a similar position.

“I will be writing to Sir Ian Kennedy, the head of IPSA, seeking an explanation for why inaccurate expense figures are being released to the public,” he added.