The claims are among the most disturbing yet exposed during the Telegraph’s investigation. Claims that are “excessive or luxurious” are not permitted under the rules. HM Revenue and Customs may wish to investigate some of the claims.
Douglas Hogg, the former agriculture secretary, submitted a claim form including more than £2,000 for the moat around his country estate to be cleared. The taxpayer also helped meet the cost of a full-time housekeeper, including her car. The public finances also helped pay for work to Mr Hogg’s stables and for his piano to be tuned.
Sir Michael Spicer, the Conservatives’ most senior backbench MP, claimed £5,650 in nine months for his garden to be maintained. In December 2006, he submitted a detailed invoice which included “hedge cutting ... helipad”, although he claimed last night that the “helipad” was a “family joke”. The Conservative grandee successfully claimed for the costs of hanging a chandelier in his main manor house.
James Arbuthnot, the Conservative chairman of the defence select committee, announced last night that he would be repaying money he had claimed from the taxpayer to clean his swimming pool. This was among a series of payments made to maintain a country residence he rented before buying a £2 million home without a mortgage in 2007.
David Davis, the former shadow home secretary, spent more than £10,000 of taxpayers’ money on home renovations and furnishings, including a new £5,700 portico at his home in Yorkshire.
David Heathcoat-Amory claimed for more than £380 of horse manure for his garden.
Michael Ancram, who is the Marquess of Lothian, claimed more than £14,000 a year in expenses while owning three properties, none of which have a mortgage and are worth an estimated £8 million.
Sir Alan Haselhurst, the Deputy Speaker, has claimed £142,119 for his country home over the last seven years, despite having no mortgage to pay. He has charged the taxpayer almost £12,000 over five years for gardening bills at his farmhouse in Essex.
Stewart Jackson, a shadow minister, billed the taxpayer for more than £11,000 in professional fees when buying a new home in Peterborough within a year of being elected to Parliament. He claimed more than £300 for work on a swimming pool and hundreds more for work to a “summer room”. Last night he agreed to repay the money claimed for the swimming pool.
Correspondence seen by The Daily Telegraph suggests that some of the MPs have been claiming for the country homes for many years, stretching back to when receipts were not necessary for parliamentary expenses.
When they were required to produce detailed receipts about five years ago, they began simply producing statements listing all the costs of their homes. In some cases, the fees office agreed to pay the maximum allowance after coming under pressure from the MPs.
Apparently, David Cameron is likely to be dismayed by these allegations. Fuck me—really? And is he taking a hard line on this...?
“If there’s a case of someone who clearly did break the rules and that was totally unjustifiable then there may be a case for action,” he said.
Oh yeah, way to go, Cammy-baby: you're such a fucking hard man, eh? That's told your MPs, hasn't it just? You know, if they absolutely fucking "clearly did break the rules" and if "that was totally unjustifiable" then... ooooooh, wait for it!... there "may be a case for action".
Well, that's it then: that's a load of MPs shit-scared and public trust in politicians restored then, eh? Good work, Cammy-baby.
You fucking twat.