Croydon MP looking to make a crisp packet from expenses?

Crisp packetGiven the national furore created by the MPs’ expenses scandal just a couple of years ago, you might imagine that our Westminster representatives would be extra careful over their financial conduct.

One Croydon Conservative MP attracted special criticism for his huge claims for a range of personal spending, from a bed bought at Harrod’s to the cost of maintaining his lush garden in Surrey.

The Croydon Tory MPs’ cautiousness over the spending of public money ought to be even greater, given how both Richard Ottaway and Gavin Barwell were subject of an enquiry by the courts for the manner in which they accounted for their election expenses in 2010.

But according to Inside Croydon‘s loyal reader, at least one of our MPs is undeterred about putting in receipts for even the most trivial of his personal expenditure.

Our reader told us of how the Croydon MP, well-known in the area after a couple of years of state-subsidised personal promotion, had visited a local convenience store, bought a packet of crisps and asked for a receipt.

Are times so hard for our £65,738 per year MPs that they are now putting in claims – at public expense – for their packets of snacks?

Was this an item that is to be paid for out of the MP’s “campaign expenses” during the past month when he was spending his publicly funded time managing a campaign for a non-Tory Tory candidate for Croydon North?

We are sure that Gavin Barwell will let us know soon enough…

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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2 Responses to Croydon MP looking to make a crisp packet from expenses?

  1. Ratnaraja says:

    He is crispy clean on expenses. Members of parliament are not expected to work 24 hrs a day. They should be able to claim even for a cup of tea if a trip was work related and they had to have a break.

    Why should an MP spend his or her money on travelling to another place on behalf of a constituent or buying a constituent a cup of tea or crisps?

    As long as the MP doesn’t have crisps at the parliament during lunch break and then claim it I don’t see any reason why they can’t claim for crisps or chocolates.

    • There’s a very good reason why an MP cannot make a claim for expenses for a packet of crisps, or a bar of chocolate, or a cup of tea, Patrick: it would be because of the rules as laid down by HM Revenue and Customs or Parliament.

      The Revenue allows no one else to set off their own personal expenses against their tax bills.

      But if you seriously suggest that a snack midway through the day (who said anything about working 24 hours a day?) when at a constituency office ought to be a legitimate, claimable expense for our MPs, we think you would be in a very small minority.

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