Secrecy over MPs’ landlords 
allowed

More than 50 MPs have been allowed to keep the name of their landlord secret on security grounds.

The expenses watchdog has published a list of landlords who are paid taxpayer-funded rent by MPs after a freedom of information request. The release showed that a number of MPs rent their properties to fellow MPs or peers.

However, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) did not include 51 of the 320 MPs who claim rental expenses after complaints that to publish their landlord’s name would present a security risk.

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Details had been removed where an MP or landlord had shown the information could lead to their address being identified.

An Ipsa spokesman said 85 per cent of MPs had their landlords named, but added: “We need to consider in each case whether there are any security issues.”

The move follows a row with MPs, who argued in the Commons last month that the information could be used maliciously. Speaker John Bercow wrote to Ipsa claiming there was a “very real danger” that residential addresses could be discovered as a result of the details being released.

The publication showed a number of MPs rent their properties from fellow MPs or peers. Labour MP Jessica Morden (Newport East) rents from Madeleine Moon (Bridgend) while Conservative Keith Simpson rents from Lord Flight.

The Sun newspaper also claimed that Tory MP Peter Luff (Mid Worcestershire) rents a London flat from Chelsea footballer Frank Lampard using taxpayers’ money, while letting out his own London home.

A spokesman for Lampard said the star did not know who the management company let the property to, while a representative of Mr Luff added the MP had no idea whether he was renting from Lampard or not.

Equalities Minister Helen Grant has defended her claim for maximum expenses to cover accommodation in London despite living just 19 miles from the Commons.