Geoff Hoon has established a property empire worth £1.7 million after claiming taxpayer-funded expenses for at least two properties.
During his time as Defence Secretary and Leader of the House, Mr Hoon lived in a grace-and-favour apartment in Whitehall yet claimed costs for his home in Derbyshire.
Within months of losing his grace-and-favour apartment in 2006, Mr Hoon bought a new London townhouse. He then claimed that his Derbyshire home was his main property and designated the new house as his “second home”. This allowed him to fund the London property using the expenses system.
He now stands accused of exploiting the system by switching properties on his parliamentary declaration, enabling him to claim close to the maximum allowable amount most years. This is how he took advantage of the system:
At his Derbyshire family home between 2004 and 2006, Mr Hoon claimed thousands of pounds for renovations and refurbishments. In that time he redecorated and re-carpeted the property, which he has owned since 1986, and claimed for regular visits to DIY stores.
In 2005, Mr Hoon attempted to claim £1,199 for an LCD television — only to be told by the parliamentary authorities that he would receive a maximum of £750.