Five Towns MPs rack up expenses bill of £180,000

Jon Trickett
Jon Trickett

MPs across the Five Towns have racked up an expenses bill of almost £180,000.

Data from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) revealed the cost to the taxpayer of claims made by Yvette Cooper, Jon Trickett, Alec Shelbrooke and Nigel Adams in 2012/2013.

Alec Shelbrooke MP

Alec Shelbrooke MP

Figures from IPSA – the public body funded by the Treasury which was set up in the wake of the 2009 expenses scandal – showed Pontefract and Castleford MP Yvette Cooper came lowest of the four MPs, with a total bill of £35,115.01.

The shadow home secretary claimed nothing for accommodation but the cost of running her constituency office came to £20,824.81, including £5,439.98 for stationery.

She told the Express: “I’ve always believed it was vital to have a local office where people can reach me so they don’t have to send things to parliament.

“So this money is paid by IPSA for the rent and running the office in Castleford which is open and staffed five days a week, sending on average 1,000 letters every month to provide constituents with advice and take up issues on their behalf.”

Yvette Cooper

Yvette Cooper

Ms Cooper also claimed £6,848.58 for travel, of which £1,171.10 was for parking.

She said: “MPs also have to be in parliament for part of every week.

“So it includes travel to London and back so I can get quickly back and get more done in the constituency too.

“Its right that all these figures are published so everyone can see what’s happening and they are independently checked too.”

Nigel Adams MP

Nigel Adams MP

Featherstone MP Jon Trickett claimed a total of £42, 768.98 in rent, office costs and travel.

His London flat cost the public purse £20,000, while the bill for running his constituency office came to £11,360.18.

He said: “It is important to be aware that none of the money allocated for accommodation, IT, stationery and office costs, etc, are received by me or go through my bank account. IPSA reimburse the suppliers and landlord directly.

“I promised the electorate that I would open an office in the constituency, a promise which I have honoured.”

Alec Shelbrooke, whose Elmet and Sherburn constituency covers Kippax, Methley and Allerton Bywater, claimed £46,703.32.

He told the Express: “As a new MP I am especially keen to make sure I get the best deal for taxpayers in the money I use for stationery and rent of a constituency office.

“Leeds is my home, so unlike some neighbouring MPs who choose to live in London I have to travel to London and back each week but I always ensure travel is both economical and necessary.

“I would hope constituents who have contacted me for help would agree that my constituency office is run efficiently and effectively to provide the best help possible.”

Selby MP Nigel Adams, who represents Brotherton, Byram and Fairburn, claimed the highest of the Five Towns’ MPs, with an expenses bill of £50,150.87.

The Express contacted Mr Adams for comment but received no response.