Ashfield MP defends rise in expenses costs due to time-frame and helping 8,000 more people

Ashfield and Eastwood MP Lee Anderson cost the taxpayer around £223,000 last year, new figures reveal.

Tuesday, 1st February 2022, 1:49 pm

Stats from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority show the Conservative MP's total business costs for the 2020-21 financial year were £222,618.06.

His costs were up from £43,877.86 on the year before, and above the average for all Members of Parliament, of £203,880.

However, Mr Anderson points out he was not an MP for a full year, during the previous year and helped 8,000 more constituents.

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Lee Anderson MP

Elected in December 2019, Mr Anderson spent £197,400 on office running costs in 2020-21, including £165,200 on staff wages and £32,100 on other office expenditures.

He spent £21,200 of his accommodation budget (of £21,200), and a further £4,100 on travel and subsistence.

Of the 189 individual claims made in 2020-21, IPSA said his most expensive single claim was staff payroll at £162,166.27, the smallest was 94p for cleaning services.

The average cost of an MP was up 29 per cent, from £158,103, in 2019-20. Broxtowe MP Darren Henry was the most expensive, claiming £280,936, compared to £178,406 for Prime Minister Boris Johnson and £168,109 for Sir Keir Starmer.

The least expensive MP was the member for Kettering, Philip Hollobone, spending £80,709.

John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "It’s important MPs have the resources to do their jobs, but many taxpayers will be worried about the soaring cost of politics.

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Mr Anderson's five largest costs were payroll; £162,166.27, rent; £24,959.97, stationery and printing; £6,322.13,

pooled staffing services; £5,049.00 and advertising and contact cards; £4,675.20 He also spent £1,742.65 on working from home allowance.

He said: “I’ve been the MP for one complete financial year which was 2020/21. I was only MP for 3.5 months in the previous financial year. I think most people would expect the 20/21 figure to be higher.

"I made sure I had a fully staffed office during the pandemic so residents could access us immediately. I helped more than 8,000 extra people during this time in emails alone. I pride myself on the speedy service received from my office crucial during this time.”

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