Aylesbury MP defends £24,140 expenses

David Lidington MP
David Lidington MP
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David Lidington claimed more than £24,000 in expenses last year, figures have revealed.

The largest chunk of the Aylesbury MP’s claims - £9,373 - were for nights at London hotels, despite him living within a commutable distance of London.

Other claims published by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority ranged from 84p on stationery to just over £700 on annual train travel for Mr Lidington and his aides.

The MP said he needed to stay at a £150-per-night London hotel on occasions when Parliament sits late and he begins work early.

Mr Lidington, who is also the Europe minister, said: “I have got a pile of constituency work and Foreign Office work which I go through in the evening.

“I rarely leave my office in the House of Commons before 10pm between Monday and Wednesday and I’m usually in by about 7.15am the following morning.”

The MP, who earns £66,396 a year from his constituency role, added that it would not be possible for him to do a lot of his work on a train.

He said: “It’s about 90 minutes door to door but that’s dead time as far as work is concerned.

“I can’t do Foreign Office paperwork on a train because almost everything I deal with is classified in some way.

“I’m very uneasy about doing constituency case work on the train because it is often very personal and for all I know the person’s next door neighbour could be reading over my shoulder.

“If I was to lose that amount of working time in the day it would mean more delays because the stuff would not be done as quickly.”

Mr Lidington’s expense claims have increased gradually over the past three years, from £16,886 in 2010/11 to £21,261 in 2011/12 and £24,140 in 2012/13.

His Parliamentary claims are significantly more than the Vale’s other MP, John Bercow, who claimed £7,450 in 2012/13.

However, this does not include Mr Bercow’s claims as Speaker, which were earlier this year revealed to be nearly £100,000 in the past three years.

The largest expenses bill is thought to have been paid to Shetland and Orkney MP Alistair Carmichael, who claimed £75,915.05.