MPs spent £70,000 on Ipads and laptops in build-up to election

Peter Hain was one of the MPs who purchased electrical equipment in the lead up to the election. (PA Wire)
Peter Hain was one of the MPs who purchased electrical equipment in the lead up to the election. (PA Wire)
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Scores of MPs spent £70,000 on new iPads, iPhones and laptops six months before the General Election, prompting the expenses watchdog to write to parliamentarians expressing their concern.

The 60 MPs ordered the equipment before claiming expenses for it shortly before a moratorium came into force on such purchases six months before the election, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) said.

Ipsa wrote to those involved to seek assurances that they were using the equipment exclusively for parliamentary duties, which caused some of the MPs to take exception to the request and write back.

The watchdog concluded that no rules had been broken but advised MPs who were standing down or were defeated in the election to donate the devices to charity after May 7, but admitted it had no power to enforce this.

Ipsa will also now consider a tightening of the rules governing MPs who are standing down or do not get re-elected.

A spokesman said: “Having looked into these claims, we are satisfied that they are within the rules.

“This covers purchases made during September 2014, as the restrictions on capital purchases began on 30 September 2014.

“The total value of the purchases for all MPs in September amounts to £71,216.48. We have issued guidance to MPs that they should transfer these items to a successor, another MP or donate the equipment to charity.”

One of the MPs involved was Labour former Cabinet minister Peter Hain, who claimed nearly £2,000 for a new iPad, iPhone and PC.

There is no suggestion that he broke any rules and Mr Hain has reportedly said the purchases were needed to replace broken equipment.

The Ipsa spokesman said: “Peter Hain bought an iPad, iPhone and new PC in September. The total value of those purchases was £1,907.90.”