While we were waiting for Dodgy Dave to publish his tax returns and for Jeremy Corbyn to find his, Inside Croydon has dug out some financial records on Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell.
Back in 2010, when still a thrusting and eager Tory candidate, Gav promised the Croydon electorate that if he was elected as the MP, he would publish his parliamentary expenses claims. The nation was still scandalised at that time by the extent and greed of MPs’ expenses claims, such as another Croydon Tory MP at that time, Tricky Dicky Ottaway.
Barwell claimed that he would not be like that, and that his claims would be published on his own website, openly and transparently. It was an election pledge which Barwell kept… but only for a short time.
Now, of course, MPs’ expenses claims are published for them (so Barwell might claim, retrospectively, that that is why he quietly dropped his promise, without bothering to tell anyone). So since Gav is not getting any one of his six (yes: six) parliamentary staff to publish his expenses claims, Inside Croydon thought we would do it for him – especially as he has taken to voting for cuts of £30 a week in benefits for disabled people.
There’s no claims for moats, floating duck houses or special beds from Harrods listed here for Barwell’s expenses, which cover the months from last May’s elections through to March this year.
The claims appear to be for the costs of running his constituency and parliamentary offices – which according to his own election memoirs, spent most of the year 2014-2015 working with one goal: getting Barwell re-elected and saving their own jobs.
But the documents for May 2015 through to March this year show that there’s plenty of phone bills, cleaning charges for his constituency office (where Croydon councillor Sara Bashford does her day job), waste disposal and even some very pricy water.
All adding up to considerably more than 30 quid a week, and all at the public’s expense…
Indeed, the grand total claimed by Gavin Barwell for his expenses in less than a year:
Or an average of more than £280 per week.
Those disabled people and their carers who are having benefits cut thanks to the work of Barwell and his chums might take a view on the MP’s priorities.
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