Skegness MP defends £173k expenses claim

MP for Boston and Skegness Mark Simmonds.
MP for Boston and Skegness Mark Simmonds.

Skegness MP Mark Simmonds has defended claiming more than £173,000 in expenses over the last financial, saying it helps provide ‘good service’ to his constituents.

Mr Simmonds says the claim, which was the highest of any Lincolnshire MP, also reflected a ‘significant percentage on staff’ to cover maternity leave.

“My staff do a tremendous job to help me do my work as a Member of Parliament and provide a good service to my constituents,” he added.

Figures released by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority earlier this month revealed that the junior foreign office minister claimed a total of £173,436.96p between 2012 and 2013, of which £137,426.92p went on staff.

Between £20,000 and £25,000 of the staffing costs went to his wife Lizbeth in her role as office manager.

The claims, though the highest in Lincolnshire, were by no means the most significant when compared to the entire House of Commons.

The highest claim, £232,042.33p was made by Ian Paisley.