MP to take action over ‘inaccurate’ expenses list

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Sir Edward Leigh has hit back at “inaccurate” claims he made one of highest heating expense claims of 340 MPs countrywide.

The Market Rasen and Caistor MP claimed £3,337.09 to heat his second home last year, according to figures from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA).

But Sir Edward says the data, which put him sixth on the list, is false - and he is taking action.

He said: “These figures are inaccurate. It appears that IPSA have erroneously overstated the expenses I’ve claimed by over a thousand pounds. I have not claimed £3337.09 for electricity and gas, but £2329.54.

“IPSA were accurate in the actual payments made but then inaccurately recorded certain payments as having been made twice.”

He went on to say: “IPSA claims that ‘transparency lies at the heart of (their) regulatory role’.

“If the figures for my expenses have been marked down wrong, and then made public, I wonder how many other MPs are in a similar position?

“I will be writing to Sir Ian Kennedy, the head of IPSA, seeking an explanation for why inaccurate expense figures are being released to the public.”

Sir Edward has not broken any rules, but news of his expense claims has angered some residents.

Trevor Tripp said: “When many pensioners and low income earners are struggling to pay their fuel bills shouldn’t MPs be setting an example and demonstrate ‘we are all in it together?’”

Sir Edward defended his claims and said he had one of the lower overall expense totals for Parliament.

And he pointed out he does not claim any expense for rent or mortgages.