MP defends latest expenses stats over energy bills

Alan Meale MP  Who has been awarded a knighthood
Alan Meale MP Who has been awarded a knighthood

Mansfield MP Sir Alan Meale has defended his actions after the latest expenses statistics were revealed.

An investigation by a national newspaper named those members of Parliament who had claimed back on energy bills for their second homes, with Mr Meale being named the 11th highest on the list having 
been reimbursed with £2,578.92 to cover his gas and electricity.

Topping the list was the Tory MP for Stratford-upon-Avon, claiming back more than £5,822.

Critics have called the latest figures as ‘morally wrong’, given the recent furore over poverty-stricken pensioners being forced into making a decision between heating and eating this winter.

But Mr Meale defended his actions, saying he had bought a second home in London out of his own pocket, and had not claimed persistent hotel stays in the capital as a result, expenses he says that other MPs take advantage of and can rack up to more than £20,000.

He said: “I claimed the money back but it was £2,000, instead of £20,000, but if people want me to do that then I will be quite happy to.

“It’s expensive to buy property in London and I used everything I had to do that. I deliberately under claim, and that is what I’ve done for 27 years.”

There were 341 MPs who claimed between £5,822 and just £19. The remaining 309 MPs did not put in any claims.