Havering’s MPs may get back second homes

HAVERING’S three MPs could once again claim the controversial second home allowance, if expenses proposals are given the green light.

The allowance had allowed MPs living outside central London to claim mortgage interest payments or rent on a second home close to the House of Commons, on top of their own constituency pads.

But the subsidy was scrapped for those MPs living within an hour’s commute or 20 miles of the capital – known as the London Area – following public outcry.

Instead MPs can claim a London Allowance to cover travel and hotel bills, while only those living outside the new boundary are given cash for rents on second homes near Westminster.

However, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Association (IPSA) – the watchdog charged with governing MPs’ grants since May last year – now wants to reinstate the bursary.

It follows complaints that some MPs have been unable to get home after late night session in Parliament and have been bedding down in their offices.

If the proposals are accepted, 50 MPs will be allowed to claim, including Romford MP Andrew Rosindell, Hornchurch and Upminster MP Angela Watkinson and Dagenham and Rainham MP, Jon Cruddas.

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Mr Rosindell, who funds his central London flat from his own pocket, said: “Often I am in parliament to three in the morning and need that flat, which is why I have continued to hold on to it and pay for it myself.”

Mr Cruddas, who voted against the allowance, said he would not claim it even if was reintroduced.

Mrs Watkinson would not comment on the issue.

IPSA is considering three new London Area options: MPs whose constituencies are in London boroughs, in Zones 1-6, or those who can travel to their constituencies within an hour at night.

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