Portsmouth MP claims back £4 soap on expenses

KEEPING IT CLEAN Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt
KEEPING IT CLEAN Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt

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PORTSMOUTH North MP Penny Mordaunt has been criticised for claiming back the price of hand wash on expenses.

Statistics from the The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority show Ms Mordaunt got back £4.37 she paid for 250ml Dove Cream hand wash.

She has defended the move on Twitter, saying she bought it for the bathroom at her office in London Road, Hilsea, so staff and constituents could wash their hands.

The figures, which relate to expenses filed between April and June this year, also reveal Ms Mordaunt got back £19.58 for Fairtrade tea bags and £41.02 for Clipper Fairtrade organic freeze dried coffee.

Ms Mordaunt also clawed back £22.28 for toilet roll, £2.72 for kitchen roll, £5.50 on bleach and £4.03 on Fairy liquid.

Councillor John Ferrett, Portsmouth’s Labour group leader, attacked the claims and said public money needed to be better protected.

He said: ‘Looking at some of the claims by Penny Mordaunt, they seem disproportionate and costly, given the fact we are in an era of austerity and we should do all we can to safeguard funds.

‘In the run-up to the 2010 election, Penny Mordaunt was outspoken about expense claims by MPs.’

Meanwhile, Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock paid and got back £236.55 for a paper shredder service he uses at his office in Albert Road, Southsea.

He said that while the premises has a smaller shredder, it’s not as effective as the one he pays out for each month.

‘Sometimes we are shredding stuff we have got which is confidential – how else can I get rid of it? If I can’t shred it, what can I do?

‘You can’t have papers piling up and piling up.

‘We looked around for the best deal and this one has a certificate saying it saves trees.’

Havant MP David Willetts also managed to get back £387.41 he spent on stationery.

The latest findings come after MPs defended their decision to file claims for council tax and energy bills.

As previously reported, Mr Willetts claimed £2,596 back for his utility bills – £814 on electricity and £1,782 for gas – more than any other MP locally.