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MP Cheryl Gillan told to repay £1,884
MP CHERYL Gillan has been told to repay £1,884 in mortgage payments by Expenses auditor Sir Thomas Legg.
The Chesham and Amersham MP has a second home in Battersea, London, and her claims included £59,079.56 mortgage costs.
Mrs Gillan said she immediately sent a repayment cheque after recieving the letter. She said she over-claimed by £1,884 last year because the estimate for her yearly mortgage repayment – provided by her bank – was too high.
Mrs Gillan said: “Any difference between the estimated and actual interest on the mortgage would of course be accounted for by me.
“I have always tried to operate in a clear and transparent way, and that is why I have sent a payment in advance of any adjudication from Sir Thomas Legg.
“I look forward to the Kelly review and have already indicated that I will abide by any recommendations he makes over our pay and remuneration.”
The Shadow Welsh Secretary hit headlines in June after mistakenly claiming £4.47 in dog food, which she later paid back.
She also claimed £8,450 for food and £4,335 for cleaning.
Every MP has received a letter from Sir Thomas this week, detailing any claims that need to be paid back or explained in more detail.
Wycombe MP Paul Goodman has also been asked to pay back some money, but said he has been “undercharged” and would have to clear up the amount with the auditors.
He did not want to say how much he was asked to repay.
He said: "Sir Thomas has written to all MPs with provisional findings. Media reports suggest that his paperwork is no more infallible than that of MPs - and his letter to me confirms that this is the case.
“I'll therefore be writing to him with some figures and enquiries in response to his own figures and enquiries.
“As readers know, I gave the BFP a detailed summary of my expenses last summer. As soon as I can obtain reliable calculations from Sir Thomas, BFP readers as ever will be the first to know them.
"His provisional findings have been described as 'rough justice' - but given the scale of the expenses scandal, my view at present is that MPs must take the rough with the smooth - as lots of our constituents have to do."
Mr Goodman said he intends to repay any money if asked.
It was revealed in the summer that Mr Goodman claimed for items including a cot, stairgate and booster seat.
Yet his mortgage claims for his second home, in High Wycombe, were about half of three other Bucks MPs at £27,389.69. He pays about £600 a month.
The full claims show he got also £5,750 for food, £4,913.90 council tax and £4,100 cleaning under the controversial Additional Costs Allowance for second homes.
Mr Goodman – who does not drive – also claimed £3,892.80 in taxi fares around the constituency from 2005 to 2008, under the separate Incidental Expenses Provision.
Meanwhile Beaconsfield MP Dominic Grieve was “slightly bemused” after being asked for the latest copy of the lease agreement for his cottage near Marlow.
He said: “When I volunteered to provide the copies in the past I was told by the Fees Office I was told there was no need unless the amount of rent had changed.
“It's been an absolute mess but it's incumbent on us now to provide Sir Thomas with all the documents he needs.
He claimed £1,535 a month, totalling £60,742.24 over four years for the cottage.
His only other second home claims were £211.50 gardening costs and £1,511 council tax. He did not claim for food or furnishings and only claimed council tax in 2007/08.
Aylesbury MP David Lidington said he has not been asked to pay anything back. He was dubbed 'Mr Clean' after claiming around £1,200 for dry cleaning costs.
He also claimed £60,453.13 rent on a second London home.
Mr Lidington said: “They were all valid claims but I took the view that they might be seen as extravagant.”
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