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Cornwall MP Stephen Gilbert claims more than £185k in expenses

By West Briton  |  Posted: September 13, 2012

Stephen Gilbert

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NEWQUAY and St Austell's MP has been shown to have the second highest expenses in the country after claiming more than £185,000.

Stephen Gilbert claimed a total of £185,811.07 for the year 2011 to 2012. In addition he also received an advance of £4,000 and an accommodation deposit of £3,780. The expenses claims were on top of his basic salary of £65,738.

Information published by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) also revealed Mr Gilbert employs his mother Jackie Bull as a senior caseworker.

Mrs Bull, who is also a Cornwall councillor, was paid between £10,000 and £14,999.

The claims were mainly for staff pay with Mr Gilbert spending £122,697.33 on payroll.

In a statement Mr Gilbert said: "A number of one-off events stretched the budget last year including a significant office team restructure with associated redundancy payment costs.

"On top of that I spent the first six months of the Parliament benefiting from free London accommodation, and so 2011-2012 was the first to reflect a full year's rental cost for London accommodation."

On the subject of his mother's job as a caseworker for him, he added: "As both a serving Cornwall Councillor and the former senior welfare officer for Imerys, Jackie brings a huge experience of helping people, considerable administrative expertise and awareness of local issues to my office ensuring that we are able to promptly and properly deal with the range of issues that people raise with us."

Mr Gilbert said he remained "absolutely committed" to ensuring he got the best value for money as his team served the people of St Austell and Newquay.

He said: "I will continue to meet the pledges on MPs' expenses I set out in 2010. I said I would never claim expenses for food in London, wouldn't have a second job during my time as an MP, and would publish my claims through my website – I haven't, I don't and I do."

The lowest expenses claims in Cornwall were made by Truro and Falmouth Conservative MP Sarah Newton who claimed a total of £117,439.43. Mrs Newton made no expense claims at all for accommodation and just £360 for travel and subsistence.

Fellow Conservative MP George Eustice, Camborne and Redruth, had one of the highest travel expense claims of £12,160.38.

He said: "My expenses are quite low and some of the lowest in the country.

"I have managed to cut the cost of the MP's office by 40 per cent compared to my predecessor."

Jonathan Isaby, political director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Taxpayers will certainly be left wondering how MPs representing nearby seats can end up spending vastly different amounts.

"While MPs should be judged on their records by their constituents and not just a financial league table, these large variations should prompt taxpayers to seek explanations from those claiming the largest amounts.

"Taxpayers will expect bills to be kept under control as they draw their own conclusions as to whether they are getting value for money."

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  • dodgethebulle  |  September 18 2012, 11:20AM

    Anyone wishing to read about badgers and bovine TB should read the below link, you will quickly realise that ssimples and charlespk are distributing false information for a reason. They enjoy killing and are probably directly involved with the badger cull.. http://tinyurl.com/8c93odx http://tinyurl.com/bvjp9rv

  • Doitdreckley  |  September 15 2012, 12:18PM

    So where is your argument to refute what this poster has said? Typical right winger, bereft of ideas but full of slogans.

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  • torypzman  |  September 14 2012, 3:24PM

    Utterly shocking, typical socialist.

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  • edegenerous  |  September 14 2012, 3:22PM

    I find it funny that the MP for Merton (a posh bit of posh Wimbledon in rich London) Sarah Newton, still claims she's a Cornish MP! From a house that costs over £3 million, and as the former chair of Merton Conservative Association, she's been on the electoral register there longer than she ever has been in Cornwall. I wonder how much her holiday home in Maylor costs? And Eustice earns more than the average Cornish person by writing a weekly column on how to bull s*** in PR weekly. Thats why he doesnt claim expenses. He's the MP for UKIP, not Cornwall

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  • Newquay_Loyal  |  September 14 2012, 1:36PM

    Now lets hope that the MP who opposes most of what the Tories are doing to our County, will leave the Lib Dems and stop propping up Dave & chums. Represent us Mr Gilbert, we didn't vote for another Tory led recession, we didn't vote for the destruction of poorly paid jobs in the Tax Office in St Austell (it is happening by stealth), we didn't vote for Dave !

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  • humpy1968  |  September 14 2012, 10:38AM

    If I employed my mother, I would spend more time in London too!

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  • Doitdreckley  |  September 13 2012, 8:08PM

    Isn't it odd how many MPs employ members of their own family? This suggests that there has not been a fair recruitment process. Open recruitment would be far better as it would give people a stake in our 'democracy'.

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  • Charlespk  |  September 13 2012, 6:18PM

    @Lafrowda You shouldn't be surprised by anything that happens with this government. . It's not democratically elected. . It's EU engineered. We are now in the the Post Democratic period. http://tinyurl.com/72gthgl (open in a new window) Germany's 500 billion Euro rescue means it is about to take control of Euroland. . European democracy has ended. http://tinyurl.com/9ba74vh (open in a new window)

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  • Kate_Cody  |  September 13 2012, 5:23PM

    Oh - I see, the Cornishman completely re-writes the story, but keeps the same comments. That's confusing.

  • hallerweber  |  September 13 2012, 2:55PM


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