Phil Hope, MP for Corby and East Northants, has joined the long list of MPs challenged over their use of public money as part of the nationwide furore over expenses.

The details of Commons expenses leaked in The Daily Telegraph report that Hope, the Care Services Minister, spent more than £37,000 over four years furnishing a two-bedroom flat in south London. The source reports that items claimed included a new kitchen, a television, an assortment of furniture and wooden flooring.

Controversially, the East Midlands MP is alleged to have claimed £120 for a barbecue and £61 for gardening materials, despite rules stating that MPs can only claim for garden maintenance. In a statement, Mr. Hope said, “I claimed the cost of running and furnishing a flat in London, in full accordance with the rules that apply to Members of Parliament. The purchases I made were no more than was necessary to live in a habitable residence and replacements only occurred when furniture and fittings were worn out.”

This revelation is merely the latest disclosure of details from more than a million receipts which are being prepared for publication, following a long-running battle over the freedom of public information.

Sophia Hemsley

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