Tory minister and three other MPs claimed driving fines on expenses - but will have to pay them back
Amanda Solloway claimed back an £80 fixed penalty notice issued in July 2020
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Amanda Solloway, a minister in the energy department who used to serve under Home Secretary Suella Braverman and who is also a Whip, is one of four MPs to have claimed for fines, as detailed in the expenses register. The Derby North MP claimed back an £80 fixed penalty notice issued by Transport for London on 2 July, 2020.
Tory MPs Simon Hoare and Bim Afolami, as well as SNP MP Dave Doogan, also put similar claims through expenses, as reported in The Independent. Now the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) is to contact those who have made the claims to ask for the money to be repaid after it admitted that it had wrongfully allowed the payments to be made.
IPSA makes change to prevent future claims from being paid
A spokesman for the watchdog said: “MPs are not allowed to claim for penalty charges and fines under IPSA rules. Paragraph 3.26 of the Scheme of MPs’ Staffing and Business Costs clearly states that these fines are not claimable. IPSA’s checks failed in some cases to identify these claims and some of them were paid.
“We will contact MPs and ask them to repay, where appropriate. We have changed our process to ensure any future such claims are not paid, and will reiterate the scheme rules to MPs.”
“Tory MPs flouting the rules damages public confidence"
The controversy comes after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak decided earlier this week not to launch an inquiry into Braverman for attempting to get a private course to avoid points for a driving offence. Labour’s shadow Commons leader Thangam Debbonaire said: “While Rishi Sunak’s MPs break the rules and try and make the taxpayer pick up the bill, working people are left struggling to cope with the soaring Tory cost-of-living crisis.
“Tory MPs flouting the rules damages public confidence in the system. Rishi Sunak must clamp down on the rule-breakers in his party and get on with delivering for the British people.”
One MP claimed four times for driving
The IPSA register of MPs’ expenses shows that Hoare, MP for North Dorset, claimed four times for £80 fines issued in November 2019.
Afolami, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, claimed for two £80 fines in December 2021. He told the PA news agency: “(It was) Completely inadvertent. All money repaid the moment that I knew about it.”
Doogan, SNP MP for Angus, claimed for a £160 fine in January 2022. Solloway, Hoare and Doogan have been approached for comment by PA.
A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “This would be a matter for the individual MPs and IPSA.”