MP pays back expenses after website mistake

BATTLE MP Greg Barker has been made to pay back expenses claimed for his website in an apparent “administrative mistake”.

Back in June, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) launched an investigation into whether Mr Barker was incorrectly paid £109.98 under the MPs’ Expenses Scheme relating to a claim for his website, www.gregorybarker.com.

Under expenses rules, claims cannot be made for any material “that contains a party political logo or emblem” – including Member’s websites.

The invoice in question was for a website hosting service which Mr Barker pays for personally.

A report into the investigation acknowledged that Mr Barker acted swiftly to repay the money.

It also accepted the IPSA’s own validation procedures should have prevented reimbursement in the first place.

Mr Barker told the Observer: “This was simply a clerical error on the part of a member of my staff, that was put right immediately it was pointed out.”

The investigation was officially closed on September 20 and no further action will be taken.