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Taxpayers foot bill for North East MP's 21 first-class train trips in TWO months

A North East MP claimed expenses for more than twenty first-class rail trips in two months last year, more than any other MP. <i>(Image: SARAH CALDECOTT)</i>
A North East MP claimed expenses for more than twenty first-class rail trips in two months last year, more than any other MP. (Image: SARAH CALDECOTT)

A North East MP claimed expenses for more than 20 first-class rail trips in two months last year - more than any other MP.

Taxpayers footed a £2,281 bill for Labour MP Sharon Hodgson’s 21 first-class journeys between London and Newcastle last October and November, the Mirror reports.

The Washington and Sunderland West MP made claims for more luxurious first-class train trips than any other MP during the same period.

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A total of 115 MPs claimed £63,000 for first-class trips during the two month spell.

The Northern Echo: Sharon Hodgson MP
The Northern Echo: Sharon Hodgson MP

Sharon Hodgson MP (Image: PARLIAMENT)

Mrs Hodgson served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Keir Starmer until earlier this year.

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The Echo contacted Mrs Hodgson for a comment but she did not reply to our requests.


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MPs can claim for first-class tickets, but only if the cost is less than the price of an ‘anytime standard open’ ticket – generally the most expensive way to travel in standard class.

A spokesperson for IPSA, the body which regulates MPs expenses, previously said: “MPs can claim the cost of travel on parliamentary business, however the claims cannot exceed the cost of a standard class ticket on the day of purchase.”

It means MPs can claim for more expensive first-class tickets on certain trains despite cheaper standard fares usually being available.