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 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.
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.