MP Sir Edward Leigh has announced he will be closing his Market Rasen constituency office to save ‘costs to the taxpayer’.
In a statement, Sir Edward explained how he believed there was ‘no reason’ for his staff to ‘trundle along’ to a physical office when so much work could be done remotely.
And he said since the murder of MP Jo Cox, Members of Parliament have been encouraged to increase security - a cost Sir Edward does not feel is worth it.
Sir Edward said: “Having served two terms as the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee investigating government waste I have devoted a great deal of time trying to secure better value for money in the way our taxes are spent.
“I believe taxes should be as low as possible because people should be able to keep as much of what they earn as possible – it’s the workers’ money, not the state’s.
“I am also proud that of Lincolnshire MPs and of MPs overall my parliamentary expenses have been among the lowest.
“Recently it has become clear that the benefits of maintaining a permanent office in the constituency do not outweigh the costs which they incur to the taxpayer.
“A decade ago it made perfect sense to have one but the reality is that the nature of work is changing and, despite being an ardent Luddite when it comes to technology, so much work is now done remotely that there’s no reason for my staff to have to trundle along to a physical office paid for out of taxpayers’ money.
“Since the murder of Jo Cox MP, we have been forced to keep security and personal safety in mind as well and based on what the consultants tell me would be necessary to bring my constituency office up to a proper standard I don’t feel it is worth the cost.
“While I will no longer be maintaining a permanent office, this will not negatively affect constituents at all.
“I will still be having the same number of surgeries for constituents to meet me at, and as Lincolnshire is my home I will continue to spend most weekends, and as much time outside of the parliamentary session as possible, here.
“But it will mean less drain on the public purse, which is what I think Members of Parliament need to keep in mind.”
Conservative Sir Edward Leigh has served as an MP since 1983.
His constituency office is based at the community Hub building in Union Street, Market Rasen.
Sir Edward was knighted in the Queen’s 2013 Birthday Honours for ‘public and political service’.
And in 2015 Sir Edward was awarded the Légion d’honneur by the French Government.
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