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Minister defends 9p expenses for car trip

Rob Wilson admits the expenses may look 'odd' Credit: PA Wire

An MP who claimed 9p on expenses for a 352-yard car journey has defended the cost, but admitted such small claims may look "odd".

Rob Wilson, Conservative member for Reading East and Minister for Civil Society, has made a number of claims for short journeys, with many coming in under £1, but said over the course of a year the mileage "does add up".

Rob Wilson's expenses claim for a journey in March 2014, described as a "constituency engagement"
Expenses claim for a 528-yard journey in his car to attend a business meeting

"I am a very active local MP and I get out and about to meet my constituents every week," Wilson told the Metro.

"'Many of my journeys are over fairly short distances of a few miles, but with a number of visits each week, over a year the mileage does add up.

"I can see how small claims might look odd but it is important that all MPs do the job properly and stay connected with local people."


MPs' expenses bill rises to £103 million

The total bill for MPs' expenses rose from £98 million to £103 million last year, according to figures released by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa.)

MPs spent more than £80 million on staff. Credit: Laura Lean/PA Wire

The biggest claim was by Jim Shannon MP whose total spend was £229,262, including more than £38,000 spent on travel getting to and from his Strangford constituency. He also spent over £12,000 on hotels.

Ipsa's chairman Sir Ian Kennedy said that regulation had reduced the cost to the taxpayer of expenses by £58 million.

PM will try and put Miller row behind him with campaign

David Cameron will hope questions about his handling of the Maria Miller expenses row will not overshadow the launch of the Conservatives campaign for next month's European elections.

Former Culture Secretary Maria Miller. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive

Mrs Miller resigned from her position as Culture Secretary yesterday after sustained pressure over the disclosure she had wrongly claimed thousands of pounds in mortgage interest payments.

She was also criticised for her 32-second House of Commons apology.

The Prime Minister repeatedly defended her but admitted the party had experienced a "difficult week" and said he under-estimated the depth of the "raw" public anger over MPs' expenses.

Nigel Farage: 'Miller's resignation is not enough'

Nigel Farage has said he does not think Maria Miller resigning as Culture Secretary is "enough" and it is time voters were given the right to sack MPs who have stepped out of line.

The UKIP leader also rejected any suggestion that his own party had been abusing the expenses system in the European Parliament by using the money for eurosceptic campaigns.

MP sacked as Tory vice-chair over Maria Miller comment

Tory MP Michael Fabricant has been sacked as vice-chair of the party after criticising the HS2 rail scheme and Maria Miller over her expenses.

The former Conservative whip claimed on Twitter that he refused to resign so was sacked by party chairman Grant Shapps.

After news of Mrs Miller's resignation broke, the MP said: "Well, about time."

Mr Fabricant, MP for Lichfield in Staffordshire, tweeted this announcement:

After Mrs Miller resigned over her expenses scandal, he tweeted:

He is set to lead a Tory revolt against the £50 billion HS2 scheme later this month by calling for laws so the London-Birmingham is denied a second reading in Parliament.

The MP has spoken of his shock at being sacked and wrote on Twitter:


  1. Tom Bradby

David Cameron misjudged public mood on expenses

I think David Cameron did make one quite bad misjudgment over Maria Miller and that is not to realise that the public is still very, very angry indeed at the expenses issue, which our poll underlines tonight.

Quite frankly, what is clear is that any scintilla of a hint of wrongdoing is enough to get that anger back up to the boil very quickly.

To be fair to him, I read that report in detail last week - what it essentially concludes is that Maria Miller did wrong but there wasn't much malice in her intent.

David Cameron has come under pressure over his handling of the Maria Miller expenses controversy Credit: PA/PA Wire/Press Association Images

If you like it was more cock-up, by and large, than conspiracy, apart from her attitude, so you might argue the Prime Minister had to defend her.

She then went on to greatly complicate the situation with, let's politely call it, a half-hearted apology and there were other complicating factors.

To be blunt, she has very few allies or friends in politics, or not nearly enough. So, it was a complicated scenario, it will blow over for David Cameron but I think there was a misjudgment there.

Maria Miller gives £17,000 payoff to charity

Maria Miller has given a £17,000 payoff from her resignation from the cabinet to a charity in her constituency, a source close to the former Culture Secretary has said.

Maria Miller was has given up the payoff she was entitled to after resigning as Culture Secretary Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Mrs Miller had faced calls to reject the money, which she is entitled to under rules on ministerial severance pay.

She declined to reject the money outright, but will now give it to Speakeasy Advocacy, a charity in Basingstoke for adults with learning disabilities.

Nicky Morgan 'will report to the PM on women's issues'

A Downing St spokesman has clarified that the new Financial Secretary, Nicky Morgan, will report directly to David Cameron on women's issues, rather than to the new Culture Secretary, Sajid Javid.

The role of minister for women and equalities has been split, with Ms Morgan taking on the women's brief and Mr Javid handling equalities.

She will report directly to the Prime Minister on women's issues. She will have an office as Minister for Women, supported by DCMS staff. But with regard to her responsibilities for women, she will report to the Prime Minister.

Sajid Javid will have the ministerial lead on equalities issues and Nicky Morgan will have the lead on women's issues.

– Prime Minister's spokesman
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