Chichester MP and Arundel and South Downs MP had costs of more than £200,000 last year

Chichester MP Gillian Keegan cost the taxpayer around £204,000 last year while Arundel and South Downs MP Andrew Griffin cost £203,000, new figures reveal.

Chichester MP Gillian Keegan SUS-201119-152055003
Chichester MP Gillian Keegan SUS-201119-152055003

Figures from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority show the Conservative Chichester MP’s total business costs for the 2020-21 financial year were £204,207.68.

Her costs were up from £180,907.02 the year before, and on a par with the average for all Members of Parliament, of £203,880.

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Figures from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority show the Conservative Arundel and South Downs MP’s total business costs for the 2020-21 financial year were £203,085.74.

Arundel and South Downs MP Andrew Griffith. SUS-210914-163424001

His costs were up from £36,981.41 the year before, and on a par with the average for all Members of Parliament, of £203,880.

By comparison, Darren Henry, a fellow Tory MP for Broxtowe, had costs of £280,900 last year, while Philip Hollobone, the member for Kettering, had just £80,700.

Minister for Care and Mental Health Gillian Keegan, who was elected in June 2017, spent £203,300 on office running costs in 2020-21, including £184,000 on staff wages and £19,300 on other office expenditures.

And she incurred no accommodation costs during this time, but spent £900 on travel and subsistence.

Andrew Griffith, who was elected in December 2019, spent £200,300 on office running costs in 2020-21, including £164,800 on staff wages and £35,500 on other office expenditures.

And he incurred no accommodation costs during this time, but spent £2,800 on travel and subsistence.

Business costs are the essential costs incurred by MPs while carrying out their parliamentary duties including staffing, office costs and travel.

MPs cannot claim for personal costs, such as food and drink, during their normal working day, and all claims must be compliant with IPSA rules and accompanied by evidence.

IPSA’s chairman, Richard Lloyd, said compliance with the rules was at 99.7 per cent last year.

He added: “By far the largest area of spending is to pay for the salaries of MPs’ staff.

“In the last financial year MPs and their staff changed how they work to provide their constituents with a service during the pandemic.

“We enabled MPs’ staff to work from home, while the amount spent on parliamentary business travel fell to reflect different working patterns.”

The IPSA figures also reveal the 231 individual claims made by Gillian Keegan in 2020-21, with the most expensive single claim being for staff payroll – £183,938.68.

At the other end of the scale, the smallest one-off expense she claimed was 16p for stationery and printing.

John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “It’s important MPs have the resources to do their jobs, but many taxpayers will be worried about the soaring cost of politics.

“The electorate expects politicians to stay grounded and keep costs under control, particularly given the Covid pandemic saw many MPs and their staff work from home.

“With taxpayers facing a cost of living crisis, politicians should be doing their utmost to keep their spending down.”

MPs’ costs are usually broken down into dozens of categories, with staff pay almost always the largest expense.

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Gillian Keegan’s five largest types of costs were:

1) Payroll – costing £183,938.68

2) Rent – £6,325.00

3) Bought-in services – £4,818.50

4) Pooled Staffing Services – £3,097.00

5) Software & applications – £1,470.67

She also spent £648.53 on a working from home allowance.

Andrew Griffith’s five largest types of costs were:

1) Payroll – costing £161,787.78

2) Equipment - purchase – £11,960.95

3) Rent – £10,403.70

4) Stationery & printing – £5,980.84

5) Bought-in services – £4,015.60

He also spent £1,279.42 on a working from home allowance.