Seven DUP MPs to repay over €14,000 for expense claims

SEVEN DUP MPs are to repay more than £14,000 in Westminster expenses on recommendation of retired civil servant Sir Thomas Legg.

SDLP MP Eddie McGrady revealed last night he will agree to repay £6,112, although he is to query the basis on which this figure is calculated.

Sinn Féin’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness is to hand back £3,000, while the Ulster Unionist MP Lady [Sylvia] Hermon is to return £1,365, and SDLP leader Mark Durkan is repaying £236.

Sir Thomas examined MPs’ expenses claims and payments following the controversy over the issue in May and June of this year.

Mr McGrady, the South Down MP, is to repay the largest sum of all 18 northern MPs. He said in a statement: “Despite disputing some of the amounts as calculated and having certain reservations about what appears to be excessive but necessary zeal in the retrospective application of non-existent rules, I too, shall be making full repayment of the schedules outlined in Sir Thomas Legg’s letter to me for the full amount of £6112.00.

Of the DUP grouping in Westminster, South Antrim MP William McCrea is to repay the largest sum – £5,329 – in respect of furniture claims for his London home and other costs. Gregory Campbell is returning £2,656 as his accommodation claims exceeded the allowable limit. Iris Robinson is sending back £2,274, and Dr Ian Paisley is returning £1,181, while Jeffrey Donaldson, David Simpson and Peter Robinson are returning £1,964, £400 and £299 respectively. The remaining two DUP MPs, Sammy Wilson and Nigel Dodds, have not been asked to return anything. Lady Hermon, the UUP’s sole MP, is sending back £1,365 and Foyle MP Mark Durkan is repaying £236.

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