UK & World News
MPs' Expenses: Landlords' Details Kept Secret
Officials have refused to reveal details about more than 50 MPs renting second homes using taxpayers' money.
The expenses watchdog released a list of 269 MPs who rent homes at public expense and included information about their landlords.
But details about 51 of the 320 MPs who claim rental expenses were not included after complaints that to publish their landlord's name would be a security risk.
They were removed by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) where an MP or landlord had shown the information could lead to their address being identified.
The redaction is reminiscent of attempts to hide the worst excesses of the expenses scandal, when documents were widely censored.
Providing the details would have exposed the full extent to which MPs are taking advantage of a loophole in new expenses rules that allow them to rent to each other.
In the wake of the 2009 scandal, rules were tightened that prevent politicians from claiming mortgage interest but they can still claim up to £20,000-a-year for renting a flat.
This means MPs can rent out their London properties and pocket the profits while using their expenses to fund rent on another property.
Although the practice does not break any rules, it fuels concerns that politicians are still able to profit from their Commons allowances.
The list was not published in full after Commons Speaker John Bercow intervened to highlight MPs' "grave" concerns about privacy.
An Ipsa spokesman said 85% of MPs had their landlords named, but added: "We need to consider in each case whether there are any security issues. We take that as seriously as we can."
Nick Clegg's landlord was one of those not disclosed for security reasons. A spokesman for the Deputy Prime Minister said: "This decision was taken on advice from the police."
The publication did reveal that Labour MP Jessica Morden rents from her colleague Madeleine Moon and Conservative Keith Simpson rents from Lord Flight.
The Sun newspaper also claimed that Tory MP Peter Luff rents a flat from Chelsea footballer Frank Lampard, while renting out his own London home.
A spokesman for Lampard said the star did not know who his tenant was because it was let through a management company.
Mr Luff's representative said he had no idea if he was renting from Lampard or not.
Equalities Minister Helen Grant has also defended her claim for the maximum in expenses to cover accommodation in London despite living just 19 miles from the Commons.
Mrs Grant lives in a £1.8m home in Reigate, Surrey - outside her Maidstone constituency - and also rents a Thameside flat near the MI6 building in Vauxhall, funded by the taxpayer.
The Conservative minister is eligible for a second home allowance on parliamentary expenses because her constituency is outside London.
The expense claims were uncovered in an investigation by Channel 4's Dispatches.
A spokesman for Mrs Grant said: "Mrs Grant's constituency has been deemed by Ipsa to be a non-London constituency and she is therefore fully entitled to use her rental accommodation allowance either in London or in the constituency.
"She has a base in her constituency at her mother's property, where her son also lives, so she sees no need to rent a further property there.
"The focus of her time and responsibility has always been Maidstone and the Weald."
Mrs Grant's London flat is supported by expense claims of £1,666.67 per month - the maximum allowed within the rules. She has filed claims for rent since March this year.
what do you think?
Well, good to see the expenses scandal sorted out all the immorality.
They are still at it and getting away with it and as usual the people who are suposed to be protecting us are protecting them.
Phil. It is high time that expenses gravy train was done away with. Give them a 10k rise and tell them to fund everything from their pay just like every worker in the country has to do. Mortgage, travel etc
Windows Live User
But lift their tax level at the same time to whip the 10k back
Go on Sally...tweet the list for us :)
Yeah Come on big mouth Sal.You have plenty to say about other people or is this just a little too close to home
Windows Live User
By Sal I sauppose you mean Sal Whatshisname?
Any one see Dispatches last night?? Didn't take long for the dis- honourable members to find a way round the new rules and start lining their pockets again. Move out & rent a house 3 doors along the street and the Taxpayers pick up the tab. Then rent your own property to another MP and we pick up the tab again. And they wonder why MP's are despised. Westminster, Palace of Thieves
Yes dave back to there old was milking the system.
sorry that should have been old ways
The law needs changing, agree Dave, the govt needs making smaller
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Windows Live User
Come on show us the details Maidstone constituency bend over and take this. Of course I have full faith in my nothern MP who would never do this to his constituants. His place will be simply a bed for the night and a fridge in corner to keep some milk for a morning cup of tea.a portable tv to keep abreast of the news will balanced on top of of an old chest of draws picked up at the market.and an old creaky wardrobe set in the corner His old cleaner will be able to whip around in 10 minutes. His missus gave it the once over with a tin of white emulsion to cover the stains, and of course there will be a photo of her on the wall calling him home when business is done. Yes a good old northern mp - a man for the people
WLU.Just like man of the people Dennis McShane eh. How he has gotten away with it is beyond me. Something about admissions of fraud made to parliament not being admissable in court. If so its high time they were
Windows Live User
Dave, I feel really silly now after looking him up on wiki. He has done nowt and is incumbent. Years & years of belting up and down to London sitting in a chair so Tories cant get it. Think we had better see the details even if it shows us his landlord. I will disclose mine without a problem
You mean like "two jags, three houses Prescott"???........
Ah the poor MPs can`t manage on £66.000.
They woudnt know how to manage it
Windows Live User
66k is really a pittance you know to these fast spending dudes. A pad in Mayfair dont come cheap and neither does gas or electricity
Nothing new again if it was me doin this I'd b sent down but mps r still doin it nothing done about it,its disgusting greedy ppl lining their already fat pockets
the greedy b...ds
Stephen. For once I am in total and absolute agreement with you bonny lad
Details kept secret eh? I will assume that they are all a bunch of fiddling wretches then, right honourable gentlemen and ladies, don't make me laugh.
We need a smaller government & state, they are not all needed, too many non-jobs. Shrink it & reduce taxes in doing so.
I see Nick Clegg's landlord is on the the list, if this two faced polition was in opposition and not in the coalition he he would have been shouting out against the cover up.