A multi-millionaire Labour backbencher claimed almost £100,000 to cover mortgage interest that he paid from an account with a Swiss bank.
Mohammad Sarwar, the MP for Glasgow Central, who has an estimated fortune of £16 million, has claimed close to the maximum under his second homes allowance since 2004.
He claimed almost £2,000 every month for the interest on his mortgage on a £600,000 apartment in an exclusive block in Vauxhall, south London, just over the river from the Houses of Parliament.
Mr Sarwar, the chairman of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee, also claimed more than £3,000 for ground rent and service charges every year as well as around £1,500 for council tax and hundreds of pounds for home phone bills that included calls to Pakistan.
Mr Sarwar claimed a total of £174,882 in expenses last year but turned up for only 55 per cent of votes, spoke in only nine debates and asked 55 parliamentary questions.
Since 2004 he has claimed a total of £86,497 in second homes allowance (Additional Costs Allowance) and a total of £638,640 in other expenses, including office and staff costs.
In June 2006 the Parliamentary Fees Office wrote to Mr Sarwar to ask for repayment of £580.39 after an audit of his claims discovered that he had submitted some claims twice – and therefore had been reimbursed twice.
Labour MP Mohammed Sarwar (Britain’s first Asian MP, Glasgow) was the subject of a major News of the World investigation in 1997 into bribery and corruption. Despite this, the massive Asian population in his constituency keeps him safely in his seat. http://tinyurl.com/2paunl