Since the pandemic began, members of Labour’s Shadow Cabinet have been found claiming thousands of pounds in avoidable costs on their expenses.
It has been revealed that Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and other top Shadow Cabinet Ministers have been claiming thousands of pounds in unnecessary costs on their MP expenses during the pandemic.
Throughout the pandemic, Labour MPs have accused the Government of not doing enough to help working people and have also decried NHS underfunding. The MPs have listed expenses such as first-class travel, TV licences and rent.
It has been revealed that Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy added £23,083.44 to her expenses, including £8,883.35 on non-office rent and £20 on hand-sanitiser gel. The MP for Wigan also claimed £475.67 in council tax and £2,298.50 in expenses on rail, including £334.50 on railcards.
It came as she pushed for the British Army to become a more “gender-balanced and ethnically diverse” peace force. Ms Nandy also backed calls during the last General Election to reconsider the UK’s nuclear weapons during a Zoom call on Labour’s foreign policy.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s invoices contain £13,179.64 in office costs, including £907.62 on stationery. Deputy leader Angela Rayner claimed £30,952.98, including £1,600 on 23 first-class rail tickets between London and her Manchester constituency since March.
The Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities, Gill Furniss, spent £19,506.31 and £7,136.72 on non-office rent. She also charged the taxpayer £780.78 in council tax, as well as travelling first class by train a total of 10 times during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Shadow Business Minister Lucy Powell billed British taxpayers £25,206.49 last year, including £1,141.10 on rail trips along with £390 for first-class services, £5.65 for postage and a £157 TV licence fee – as well as £35 in parking fares.
Johnathan Ashworth, the Shadow Health Secretary, submitted invoices containing £2,600 on rail trips and £11,427.17 on non-office accommodation, including £9,625 on rent at £1,925 per month between April and September. This was on top of the £23,865.67 he added, which included £2,843.20 on travel, £72.20 of which was spent on taxis between his London home and Westminster.
£1,501.63 was also claimed for council tax. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority accepted the taxis as a legitimate expense due to the health concerns that other forms of transport would have borne during the pandemic.