Thame MP claimed £538 for iPad

John Howell MP claimed �538 for an iPad
John Howell MP claimed �538 for an iPad

John Howell says it is not a ‘luxury’ for him to claim a £538 iPad on expenses.

The Thame MP claimed the top-of-the-range Apple gadget in his 2012/13 expenses, figures from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority reveal.

Mr Howell, who earns £66,396 from his role as an MP, also claimed £7.50 for using the internet on the iPad.

Questioned about the claim, he said: “I use the iPad 100% for Parliamentary business.

“If I was in any other job, I would claim expenses on something I use 100% for work purposes.

“There is no argument about this, I am able to claim it.

“It is not a luxury, it is an essential component of a modern businessman’s activities.”

Mr Howell’s expenses for the year totalled £30,061, slightly more than the £28,988 he claimed in 2011/12.

The majority of his claims were made up of £17,400 for renting accommodation in London, plus £1,191 on utility bills.

His other claims ranged from £3,960 for his subscription to the Parliamentary Resources Unit to a 38p for office stationery.

MPs’ expenses have been in the spotlight since the 2009 scandal exposed by The Daily Telegraph.

The largest expenses bill in 2012/13 is believed to have been submitted by Shetland and Orkney MP Alistair Carmichael, who claimed £75,915.