Local MPs claimed £310k in expenses

Neil Parish MP

Neil Parish MP - Credit: Archant

East Devon’s two MPs between them claimed expenses totalling £310,875 last year, according to official figures just published.

Sir Hugo Swire MP

Sir Hugo Swire MP - Credit: Archant

Hugo Swire, who represents communities in the west of the region, including Sidmouth and Exmouth, was paid £164,381.

Neil Parish, whose Tiverton and Honiton constituency also includes Axminster and Seaton, claimed £146,498.

His total was made up of £111,874 spent on staffing, £20,256 on accommodation, £8,464 on office costs and £5,904 on travel.

Mr Parish, who is recovering after a hip replacement operation, was not available to comment, but an official at his Westminster office told the Herald: “Over four fifths of Neil’s expenses claims are for staffing and office costs. This allows Neil to carry out his parliamentary duties effectively and respond to constituents who contact him. Most of the remaining expenses allow Neil to rent a property in London. This allows him to stay in Westminster for three-four days a week to represent his constituents in Parliament.”

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Mr Swire declined to comment on his figures, which were made up of £140,905 for staffing, £8,506 for accommodation, £8,013 for travel and £6,957 on office costs.

The data has been published by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA).

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Its chief executive, Marcial Boo, said: “Members of Parliament do a demanding job that is important for our democracy. IPSA helps them carry out their role, by paying legitimate business costs within a strong regulatory framework.”

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