Senior Foreign Office officials have claimed more than £90,000 in taxpayer-funded expenses in just three months.
Sir Peter Ricketts, the permanent secretary, claimed almost £20,000 including more than £11,000 on a chaffeur-driven car while Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, submitted claims for more than £25,000.
The Foreign Office expense bills have been released for the first time in the wake of the MPs expenses scandals. The large sums being claimed by senior officials are likely to increase concern over the use of taxpayer-funded expenses by public sector.
The highest spender, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles spent £25,505 in three months from April to June this year. His expenses included visits to Washington DC, Tokyo and New Delhi.
The officials routinely fly business-class on journeys taking more than three hours despite it becoming increasingly rare in the private sector.
They also spent large amounts on government cars and taxis. Sir Peter Ricketts, the Permanent Under Secretary, spent £11,500 in three months, while Mark Lyall Grant, who recently became Britain’s Permanent Representative to the UN claimed for £6,028.