£3.2m paid out to MPs in expenses over two-month period

MPs were paid £3.2m in expenses from the final two months of 2010, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) disclosed yesterday.

Another £9,998-worth of claims from the same period submitted by 44 MPs were refused by the watchdog.

In total, 26,500 claims were submitted in November and December, although many may relate to expenditure in previous months.

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Between last May – when Ipsa took over the administration of MPs’ expenses – and December, there were more than 72,000 claims totalling £9.98m.

The claims from November and December were down from the £3.6m paid out in September and October last year.

The value of claims refused by Ipsa, because they were invalid or lacked adequate documentation, also fell significantly – from £15,352 in the earlier two-month period.

But this may reflect a change in the way that Ipsa records refused claims after outrage from MPs in February when the September and October expenses were published.

Many insisted then that their claims had been listed as not paid when they had been re-submitted later and met in full.

Ipsa said such claims should only appear as paid in full in the latest update to the register.

According to Ipsa’s database, MPs who had claims refused by Ipsa from November and December included:

Tobias Ellwood, a Tory, for a £59 bike repair, described as not claimable;

Angus MacNeil, of the Scottish National Party, for two claims of £387.75 for interim hotel accommodation in London, both rejected as duplicates;

Tory Children’s Minister Tim Loughton, who provided “insufficient evidence” for a £89.23 claim for staples and ink cartridges.

A total of 154 claims submitted in November and December were refused by Ipsa.

Among claims approved was £125 for Who’s Who, submitted by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith.