Former Bexhill and Battle MP top expenses claimant

Greg Barker MP SUS-141109-132440001
Greg Barker MP SUS-141109-132440001

The former Bexhill and Battle Member of Parliament claimed more expenses than anyone else in Sussex last year – nearly £200,000.

Gregory Barker billed the taxpayer £196,654.30 in his last year in office before stepping down before the General Election in May.

This figure put the new member of the House of Lords top of the spenders pile for the county out of 16 MPs and fourth for the whole of the UK.

The former climate change minister and Conservative MP spent £156,459 on paying his staff, £24,932 on accommodation, £11,715 on office costs and £3,547 on travel expenses.

The figures were released by the Commons expenses watchdog, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) on Saturday, September 10.

Some of Mr Barker’s claims include a £862.96 flight from New York to London in economy with Virgin Atlantic, a £251 phone bill, £52.48 on a replacement fridge and 68p on fuel from Flimwell to Ticehurst.

The MP’s bills have been steadily increasing with his greater responsibilities as for the previous year was £163,999.69, meaning an increase of £32,654.61.

And for the first year IPSA published the figures, from 2010 to 2011, Mr Barker claimed £111,689.06, which indicates the now Lord’s bill has gone up by £384,965 in his last term in office.

Mr Barker’s office was approached for a comment but declined.

Nationally the amount MPs claimed on expenses increased by 1.6 per cent to almost £106million last year.

But the difference between 2014 and 2013 is the smallest in recent years.

Including travel costs, Sussex MPs spent more than £2.5million on expenses in total.

The Conservative representative for Worthing West Peter Bottomley was the lowest spender in the county with a total of £101.477.94.

Out of the 650 MPs, Kettering’s Philip Hollobone was the cheapest for the taxpayer, with a bill of £847.

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