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David Laws: More questions over his expenses

EXPENSES row ex-Minister David Laws received thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ cash after racking up massive claims for mileage.

A News of the World investigation can today reveal the ex-Chief Secretary to the Treasury claimed £9,192 for mileage in just 15 months.

That means Mr Laws must have driven a staggering 28,525 miles in 15 months from May 2008 to June 2009.
On top of that he claimed a total of £2769 in rail fares.

In each financial year, he was paid 40p a mile for the first 10,000 miles he claimed and 25p for every mile after that.

Figures obtained by the News of the World show Mr Laws claimed £7,550 between April 2008 and May 2009.

He then claimed another £1,642 between April and June 2009, according to the latest figures available.

Over the first period, the House sat for a total of 35 weeks, and Mr Laws appears to have claimed the equivalent of 698 miles a week.

It is a 250 mile round trip from Yeovil to Westminster and back, so Mr Laws could have been driving to and from his constituency almost three times a week, as well as taking trains.

Over the later period, his claims were the equivalent of 456 miles a week, or almost two round trips.

During this period, MPs did not have to submit any proof or receipts for their mileage claims.

Mr Laws was forced to resign from the Cabinet last week after it was revealed he had paid his lover, James Lundie, £40,000 in rent against Commons rules.

Last night a spokesman for the man who enjoyed the shortest Cabinet career since 1783 told the News of the World: “All of the travel expenses were used properly for travelling between Yeovil and Westminster as well as carrying out work in his rural constituency.”

It takes approximately 70 miles to drive around Mr Laws’ Yeovil constituency.

And the Lib Dem MP rejected a government limo because he said it was cheaper and greener for him to walk to work.

Mr Laws said he resigned because as the man who was supposed to be planning a massive government cuts programme it would be wrong for there to be serious questions about his integrity because of his expense claims.

He said he claimed rent he paid to his lover because he did not want anyone to know he was in a secret gay relationship.



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