Tory MP ordered to pay back £2,100 for food

Main was forced to apologise in writing today
Main was forced to apologise in writing today

By Ian Dunt

A Tory MP has been ordered to pay back £2,100 and apologise in writing for wrongly claimed food by the parliamentary standards watchdog.

The judgement against Anne Main by John Lyon, the parliamentary commissioner for standards, comes on the same day as 390 MPs were ordered to pay back some expenses claims by Sir Thomas Legg.

She must also repay money claimed for a second home allowance despite allowing her daughter to live rent free in the house.

Ms Main was ordered to pay back £7,100 this morning and apologise in writing.

Of the total sum, £2,100 is for food which was wrongly claimed from 2005 to 2008.

The additional £5,000 is one-seventh of the sums she claimed on additional cost allowance while her daughter was staying at the house, minus £1,500 to reflect the fact Ms Main acted in accordance with advice she was given by the Fees Office.

Mr Lyon said: "On any interpretation of the evidence, Mrs Main's daughter is an independent adult. She could have been expected to have been responsible for her own living costs.

"It was entirely a matter for Mrs Main whether she subsidised those costs, for example by not charging her adult daughter rent when she stayed in the family's Beaconsfield home.

"There was nothing unusual in that: many other parents do the same. But it does not follow that the same principle should apply to parliamentary funded accommodation."

The judgement could not have come at a better time for Ms Main. The news will be largely buried by the flood of expenses developments dominating parliament today.


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