Havering MPs claim almost �2,000 in expenses

CLOSE to �2,000 was claimed by two of Havering’s MPs in two months, but a third MP did not make any claims.

The latest expenses claims made by MPs were published last week by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), and show reimbursements made in September and October.

The documents show Andrew Rosindell, the Conservative MP for Romford, claimed the most, getting refunded a total of �1,489.05 for the two months. From May to August 2010, the first period for which IPSA released statistics, he claimed �1,162.78.

For September and October last year Angela Watkinson, the Tory representative for Hornchurch and Upminster, claimed �460.34, compared to the �8,559.37 she claimed from May to August.

Labour’s Jon Cruddas, who is MP for Dagenham and Rainham, did not claim any expenses at all in this round. He said: “There were no expenses in that period - I was just setting up new constituency office on New Road, Dagenham.”

Mr Rosindell spent the most money on hiring a premises for his constituency office, for which he claimed �1,250. Most of the rest of his claims were on travel between his home and his constituency, or between Westminster and Romford.

He did claim �7.83 for tea and coffee for visitors, a cost which came under the general admin category of the expenses system.

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His claims earlier in the year were for stationary and travel.

Out of Mrs Watkinson’s �460.34, �350.15 was claimed for letterheads. The rest went on business cards, a data protection registration, and a �45.81 bill for a Blackberry phone.

Most of Mrs Watkinson’s claims from May to August were for rental of her constituency office and staffing.

Currently the three MPs are among 50 who are unable to claim a second home allowance, as they live within an hour’s commute or 20 miles of the capital, known as the London Area.

Instead they can claim the London Allowance, which covers travel and hotel bills. The second home allowance could be reinstated to the three Havering MPs if changes are made following complaints some MPs have been unable to get home after late night debates in Parliament.