Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey has defended recording the highest MPs’ expenses claim in Yorkshire - in addition to earning more then £19,000 in two secondary jobs.
Figures revealed by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority show Mr Healey claimed £68,432. He also earned £19,000 from roles including adviser to a West Yorkshire housing association and a Staffordshire brewery,
He said: “As MPs we are elected to a position of public service and the expense system supports our work by paying for staff salaries, office overheads, travel and the cost of staying away from home. These are all rightly limited, now tightly controlled and only paid against invoices or receipts. The total amount reflects the cost of running a busy constituency office, open to the public full-time so that people can get hold of me, even when I’m in Westminster. This year it also reflects the extra one-off costs of making changes to the office to allow us to take on an apprentice. I think my experience means the work I do with the housing association, small brewery or energy charity means I can make a contribution they couldn’t get from anyone else. And it works both ways because I get a first hand view of how many government policies make it much harder to build more council homes and see small businesses succeed.”