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Parliamentary Watchdog Rules Blackpool North Tory MP Broke Expenses Rules

Another Blackpool MP has been judged as breaking the rules as Tory Minister and Blackpool North MP Paul Maynard has been found guilty of breaking expenses rules after using an office printer to produce ‘overtly political’ material. As a consequence, he has been ordered to repay £1,367 after expenses breach

This judgement came today (Thursday 16th May) as the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa), which oversees MPs’ expenses, said the Blackpool North MP had breached its rules. The minister had under-reported use of his constituency office for party political activity.

Ipsa said it would be “appropriate” for the MP to repay £1,257 for the rent and maintenance of a printer which he used to produce the material.

It said he had agreed to pay back an additional £110 “in recognition of the possibility of inaccurately logged usage of the constituency office for party-political activity”.

“The MP reasonably believed he had put in place an agreement with Ipsa to allow for the occasional use of his constituency office for non-parliamentary purposes and made regular payments to Ipsa for this purpose,” the report said.

“However, the compliance officer considers the frequent use of Ipsa-funded office equipment such as the ‘Riso’ printer went beyond the bounds of this agreement, even if some of the costs of use were covered by the local Conservative Association.

“In addition, it is reasonable to assume the constituency office was used for storage and preparation of party-political material at various times which are not accurately reflected in the log of use maintained by the MP’s office.

It added: “On the assumption, the ‘Riso’ (printer) has been used 10% of the time for non-parliamentary purposes it would be appropriate for the MP to reimburse Ipsa the sum of £1,257.28.”

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