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‘Not a single penny goes into my pocket’: Ilford MPs defend their expenses

PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 November 2016

Labour MPs Mike Gapes and Wes Streeting at Redbridge Town Hall

Labour MPs Mike Gapes and Wes Streeting at Redbridge Town Hall

Archant

Two of the borough’s MPs have defended the amount of money they claim in expenses in a year.

Last week, Archant’s investigations team published a list of the expenses claimed by all London MPs from April 2015 to March 2016.

Out of the 92 MPs listed, Ilford North MP Wes Streeting was revealed to have claimed £160,729 - the 34th highest amount claimed.

Ilford South MP Mike Gapes was in 36th place, having claimed £158,393.

The highest expenses claim in London over that period was the £184,539 claimed by Harrow East’s Bob Blackman.

However, both Ilford MPs stressed their expenses were largely made up of the salaries of their aides and the costs of running their constituency offices.

Mr Streeting told the Recorder: “Every penny of my expenses goes on staffing costs, particularly in our busy Ilford office, or on office equipment or the general running of the office itself.

“This year it’s been more expensive because we’ve had to set up our constituency office so we’ve been buying laptops and printers - all of which are owned by the tax payer.

“Not a single penny of tax payer money goes into my pocket apart from the salary I am paid as a London MP.”

Mr Gapes reiterated that his expenses were necessary.

He said: “The vast majority of my expenses are on staff salaries, and maintaining constituency offices - there are things like toner and photocopiers and other equipment that need repairing or replacing.”


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