The Labour politician with the highest expenses claim of any London MP has denied that he was cheating taxpayers by claiming a second-home allowance while maintaining that his main home is a single-bedroom schoolhouse and seaside caravan 70 miles from his constituency.
Defiant Left-winger Harry Cohen said: ‘When MPs were given this allowance they were told “Go and spend it, boys” and that is what I have done. It is my right.’
His comments come as The Mail on Sunday launches a petition to demand a full enquiry into MPs’ expenses, to report within three months and NOT after the general election as is currently suggested.
Mr Cohen has claimed every single penny of the maximum £104,701 in Commons expenses in the past five years for his £375,000 property in his Leyton and Wanstead constituency in East London, on the basis that it is his ‘second home’.
Astonishingly, he says he has claimed the full second-home allowance since 1990.
It means he has pocketed a staggering £310,714 in total – believed to be the largest amount ever claimed by any MP.
Read on for more shocking details and pictures: