Labour MP pays back £40K

Phil Hope, health minister
Phil Hope, health minister

By staff

Labour MP Phil Hope has announced he will pay back £41,000 of his expenses claims, as the scandal continues to rock Westminster.

"The anger of my constituents and the damage done to perceptions of my integrity concerning the money I have received to make my London accommodation habitable has been a massive blow to me that I cannot allow to continue," the Corby and East Northamptonshire MP said.

"I have worked very hard over the last 12 years to represent and fight for my constituents and their opinion of me as a person matters hugely to both myself and my wife Allison."

Moments after the announcement Labour backbencher Mark Lazarowicz said he would repay £2,675 of his expenses claims for legal and professional fees for a London flat.

"We feel very badly hurt by what has happened and although I kept to the rules laid down by parliament I cannot allow this dreadful perception about what I claimed in allowances to continue," Mr Hope added.

"Whatever the right and wrongs of the allowance system this issue has fundamentally changed the view people have of me and that is something I cannot bear.

"I have decided to try to restore the trust and relationships I have with my constituents.

"I am returning all of the money that I have claimed for fittings, furniture and household items that I received over a five year period - the sum of £41,709. This will be paid to the House authorities as soon as the necessary arrangements can be made."

Mr Hope, who is also health minister, claimed for a range of items, including a new kitchen, seven doors, wooden flooring., a chest of drawers, a mattress, a television, a sofa, an armchair, a washing machine, three chairs, two bookcases, one coffee table, a wardrobe and a dining room table.


Politics @ Lunch

Friday lunchtime. Your Inbox. It's a date.