May 22 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
A Conservative MP reportedly uses taxpayers’ money to rent a luxury west London flat from Chelsea FC footballer Frank Lampard while letting out his own property in the capital.
Former defence minister Peter Luff, MP for Mid Worcestershire, claims up to £1,600 a month in expenses for the property in Old Brompton Road, the Sun said today.
A spokesman for Lampard told the paper said the star did not know who the management company let the property to, while a representative for Mr Luff added the MP had no idea whether he was renting from Lampard or not.
Equalities Minister Helen Grant has also defended her claim for the maximum in expenses to cover accommodation in London despite living just 19 miles from the Commons.
Mrs Grant lives in a £1.8 million home in Reigate, Surrey - outside her Maidstone constituency - and also rents a Thameside flat near the MI6 building in Vauxhall, funded by the taxpayer.
The Conservative minister is eligible for a second home allowance on parliamentary expenses because her constituency is outside London.
The expense claims were uncovered in an investigation by Channel 4’s Dispatches, shown last night.
A spokeswoman for Mrs Grant said: “Mrs Grant’s constituency has been deemed by Ipsa to be a non-London constituency and she is therefore fully entitled to use her rental accommodation allowance either in London or in the constituency.
“She has a base in her constituency at her mother’s property, where her son also lives, so she sees no need to rent a further property there.
“The focus of her time and responsibility has always been Maidstone and the Weald.”
Mrs Grant’s London flat is supported by expense claims of £1,666.67 per month - the maximum allowed within the rules, which caps rental claims at £20,000 per year.