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Shipston MP in energy expenses row
SHIPSTON’S MP Nadhim Zahawi has come under fire for claiming nearly £6,000 on expenses to heat his constituency home.
Stratford & South Warwickshire Liberal Democrats said they “share the disgust of local residents” at the “outrageous” energy bills after Mr Zahawi claimed £5,822 in just 12 months.
The Conservative MP comes top of the list out of 340 MPs and is followed by Conservative Andrew Robathan, Leicestershire South, who claimed £4,586.80 and Labour MP Peter Hain, Neath, who claimed £4,571.74.
Councillor Richard Cheney, leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Stratford District council and Shipston ward member, said: “The Conservative MP has claimed almost £6000 to heat a property that he doesn’t even occupy for half of the week.
“This is over £1,000 more expensive than any other MP. Local residents, especially those on low incomes such as pensioners, are really struggling due to the rising cost of living and energy prices.
“They deserve an explanation for this outrageous bill that has been footed by taxpayers’ money.”
In a statement, Mr Zahawi said: “In 2010/11 I was renting a flat in Stratford, for which I claimed rent and utility bills, however in 2011, I purchased a house in Tysoe, which like the homes of many of my rural constituents is not on mains gas and uses kerosene and electricity.
“I therefore stopped claiming for rent and only claimed for the additional costs of running a second home as required by my work, this included energy bills.”
He added part of the £6,000 energy bill related to the previous year after missing the cut-off date.
“My claims have therefore related to bills of £3,634.88 for the year 2011/12 and £3,903.35 for 2012/13, lower than my previous claims for rent and utilities,” he said.
“I readily admit that these are still high, but they do reflect the costs of many people in rural areas that rely only on kerosene and electricity.”
- Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown was one of 309 MPs who did not claim.
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