MP attempted to claim back £50 hospice donation - The Evesham Observer

MP attempted to claim back £50 hospice donation

Evesham Editorial 18th Jan, 2018   0

PERSHORE’s MP has faced a storm of criticism after it emerged she attempted to claim back a £50 donation to St Richard’s Hospice on expenses.

A Freedom of Information request submitted by the Daily Telegraph revealed Mrs Baldwin’s bid to claim the money back was ejected by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.

The West Worcestershire MP was a guest at the Worcestershire Women of the Year awards ceremony in 2013 hosted by St Richard’s Hospice.

Tickets for the event were £50 per person with all of the proceeds going to the charity which cares for 3,000 patients living with life-limiting illnesses every year and their families.

Mrs Baldwin’s claim, which she submitted to IPSA as ‘hospitality’ was rejected as it was not an ‘unavoidable cost’ as stipulated by the rules at the time.

She was promoted to minister for Africa in last week’s cabinet reshuffle having previously worked in the Treasury and the Department of Defence.

The MP has been a keen supporter of transparency over MPs expenses and backed a vote in 2015 giving local people the chance to sack their MP between elections.

“I have always said that sunlight is the best disinfectant and I am pleased we now have transparency on expenses to ensure that people can trust their MPs,” she said.

In response to the allegations, Mrs Baldwin said: “In 2013, I attended an event as the local MP for which there was a ticket charge.

“The claim was rejected by the independent body responsible for verifying expense claims. I have every confidence in IPSA and the job it does delivering transparency to the way Members of Parliament carry out their duties.

“I make many donations to local charities but of course they are made from my own resources.”

Samantha Charles, Labour’s candidate for West Worcestershire at the last General Election said:

“It seems highly irregular for an MP to make a donation on a visit and then claim back that donation on expenses.

“Harriet Baldwin should immediately clarify why she felt it appropriate to claim back the donation she made to the hospice at the expense of the taxpayer.

“We’ve all heard that charity starts at home and you have to look after number one, but in this instance it seems that Harriet Baldwin has taken this to the extreme.”


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