Health ministers and MPs on the shadow health team are among those named and shamed by The Daily Telegraph’s exposé of MP expenses claims.
The biggest claimant among the health ministers was care services minister Phil Hope, who the newspaper says claimed £83,654 between 2004-05 and 2007-08, much of it on furniture and renovations to his London flat, including a new kitchen and wooden flooring.
Correspondence with the House of Commons fees office shows officials queried and refused a number of his claims.
Health minister Ben Bradshaw also received attention from The Daily Telegraph, although the paper’s prime interest was in the fact that the second home for which he has claimed around £1,600 a month in mortgage interest payments is jointly owned with his civil partner. His total claims over the four year period were a relatively modest £56,568.
The newspaper does not mention whether or not Conservative shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley jointly owned his Cambridgeshire cottage and London flat with his wife. However, it says his total £78,370 claims included the cost of decorating the cottage, which he later sold for £433,000, shortly before he transferred second home status to his London flat.
Mr Lansley denies the implication he “flipped” his residence to exploit the expenses system, which allows MPs to claim up to £24,222 a year to cover the costs of rent, interest payments and running costs on their designated second homes.
Health secretary Alan Johnson was conspicuous in his absence from The Daily Telegraph’s detailed coverage, with no extravagance reported.