Thomas Legg review finds Beckenham MP Jacqui Lait and Bromley and Chislehurst MP Bob Neill were overpaid

News Shopper: Jacqui Lait Jacqui Lait

A PAIR of politicians from Bromley borough over-claimed more than £1,300, according to an audit of MP expense claims.

Sir Thomas Legg’s review recommended Beckenham MP Jacqui Lait and Bromley and Chislehurst MP Bob Neill pay back the money after they over claimed for mortgage interest, insurance and council tax.

Today’s report (February 4) found Ms Lait was overpaid £622.94 for mortgage interest between January and March 2007 and in the 2007/08 financial year.

Mr Legg’s audit also found Ms Lait had not provided “sufficient evidence” to support claims for £418.65 claimed between January and March last year.

The report states: “I must regard these payments as having been invalid. Accordingly my recommendation is that Mrs Lait should repay the whole of this sum.”

Despite challenging part of the decision, Ms Lait was ordered to repay a total of £1,041.59.

The Review of past Additional Costs Allowance report shows she has so far paid back £87.67.

Meanwhile, Mr Neill incorrectly claimed £157.50 for title insurance during the purchase of his second home.

News Shopper: Bob Neill

Mr Legg said only building and contents insurance could be claimed back under parliamentary rules.

In the last financial year Mr Neill was also overpaid £126 for council tax.

His £283.50 overpayment has been repaid in full.

Sir Thomas Legg hit out at the "deeply flawed" House of Commons expenses system in his long-awaited review.

His review recommended that 390 MPs repay a total of £1.3 million. Almost £800,000 has been repaid since April last year, it said.

The highest single repayment demand has been made of Stevenage Labour MP Barbara Follett - a total of £42,458.

Sir Thomas roundly rejected complaints from many MPs that he had imposed retrospective rules and spending limits for items such as gardening and cleaning.

He insisted the regulations governing use of second home allowance had indicated it could "only be used as reimbursement for specific and proportionate expenditure on accommodation needed for the performance of Parliamentary duties".

News Shopper has contacted Mr Neill and Ms Lait and is awaiting a response.

Comments (3)

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5:55pm Thu 4 Feb 10

kevint1972 says...

Is the local party going to deselect them then or are we supposed to trust people like this to run our country?
Is the local party going to deselect them then or are we supposed to trust people like this to run our country? kevint1972
  • Score: 0

8:47pm Thu 4 Feb 10

mr2wheels100 says...

as a Conservative voter I am disgusted with the arrogance of these M.P.'s. Now that Ms Lait is throwing in the towel this election should not all the goods that have been paid for in her flat, kettle, fridge book cases etc be handed back to the public, as WE the public paid for them!!
as a Conservative voter I am disgusted with the arrogance of these M.P.'s. Now that Ms Lait is throwing in the towel this election should not all the goods that have been paid for in her flat, kettle, fridge book cases etc be handed back to the public, as WE the public paid for them!! mr2wheels100
  • Score: 0

9:37pm Fri 5 Feb 10

Creaky says...

Why do all the politicians these days, regardless of party, seem to be thoroughly corrupt? You can always expect to find a few bad apples in the barrel, but all of them?


This cannot be an accident.
Why do all the politicians these days, regardless of party, seem to be thoroughly corrupt? You can always expect to find a few bad apples in the barrel, but all of them? This cannot be an accident. Creaky
  • Score: 0

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