A former Conservative minister used his MPs’ expenses to pay for a pink laptop computer from John Lewis in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
House of Commons officials prevaricated over querying the £905.95 purchase for the Sony Vaio laptop by Tim Yeo on 29 November 2007 – eventually deciding against doing so because they could not see a “basis” for the query.
Mr Yeo, the MP for South Suffolk, put the bill for the item through under the Incidental Expenses Provision (IEP) which covers MPs’ office costs.
Marginal notes on the expenses documents by Fees Office staff first suggest: “Query pink laptop?” but another addition states: “No basis to question member etc.”
In 2007-8 Mr Yeo claimed a total of £153,358 in expenses, including travel, home, office and staffing costs. In the same year, he turned up for only 42 per cent of votes and spoke in four debates and asked 13 parliamentary questions.
Mr Yeo, the environment minister in John Major’s government, claimed the maximum possible amount under the Additional Cost Allowance (ACA) between 2004 and 2008 on his designated second home, a flat in a sought-after Thames-side tower block near Westminster.
The bulk of his claims under the ACA went on mortgage interest payments and service charges for the property but he also charged the taxpayer £1,790.20 on dry cleaning between 2004 and 2006.
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