Northampton MP refuses to claim expenses for food

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The Conservative MP for Northampton North has said he has taken a ‘moral decision’ not to claim expenses for food or travelling to Parliament.

Michael Ellis was elected after the expenses scandal of 2009.

He has now confirmed that since his election in 2010, he has claimed nothing for either food or travel.

He said: “I don’t want to embarrass people who do claim, but I treat taxpayers’ money as if it was my own and I’m not going to spend money just because it’s available. So I’ve never claimed for one litre of petrol, one train ticket or one taxi. It’s a moral decision and one I think is right in these difficult economic times. Most of my constituents wouldn’t be able to claim for such things, so I’ve chosen not to do so.”

The former barrister did claim £12,845 last year to rent a one-bed flat in Westminster, but said he had under-spent his staffing and office budget.

He said: “I don’t begrudge spending money on paper and envelopes, but I’m not going to buy a new computer just because I’ve got the money.

“There are too many in the public sector having new computers every three years.”

Andrea Leadsom, the Conservative MPs for South Northamptonshire, and Philip Hollobone, the Tory MP forKettering, also kept their expenses down by not claiming for accommodation.

Michael Ellis (Con, Northampton Nth): Accommodation: £12,845. Office: £2,936. Total: £15,782

Brian Binley (Con, Northampton Sth): Accommodation: £11,941. Office: £4,925. Staff: £9,220. Travel and subsistence: £1,135 .
Total: £27,223

Chris Heaton-Harris (Con, Daventry) Accommodation: £16,566. Office: £5,368. Staff: £5,910. Travel: £1,539. Total: £29,384.

Andrea Leadsom (Con, South Northamptonshire) Office: £9,547. Staff: £3,678. Travel: £1,738. 
Total: £14,964