MP ADAM OWES US A GRAND
PUBLISHED: 17:52 15 October 2009 | UPDATED: 11:08 23 August 2010
A TORY MP says he will pay back £1,000 of taxpayers money after claiming twice for council tax in his parliamentary expenses, we can reveal. Adam Holloway, MP for Gravesham, was one of hundreds of MPs receiving letters on Tuesday from Sir Thomas Legg, w
A TORY MP says he will pay back £1,000 of taxpayers' money after claiming twice for council tax in his parliamentary expenses, we can reveal.
Adam Holloway, MP for Gravesham, was one of hundreds of MPs receiving letters on Tuesday from Sir Thomas Legg, who conducted an inquiry into the expenses scandal that broke in May this year.
The same evening he broke his silence and spoke to the Reporter when we contacted Conservatives in the borough as MPs threatened a revolt after being told by party leaders to pay back money retrospectively.
Since we revealed Mr Holloway's expense claims on May 28 this year he has repeatedly refused to talk to the Reporter about the issue. MP in the borough since 2005, Mr Holloway admitted this week he has been sent "a list" of his claims discrepancies from Sir Legg, but believes the only one that is valid is claiming twice for council tax.
He said: "I have been sent a list of what Mr Legg thinks are discrepancies, and we have gone through them and think only one is valid - accidentally claiming twice for council tax in 2007.
"According to my guy looking at it, the second claim for council tax because I found a final demand notice.
"This will cost me about £1000. Neither the Reporter, when you looked through the accounts, me, or the House of Commons spotted it before, which is very annoying because in the couple of years after I was elected I had huge costs, much of which was met from my salary and savings."
He added: "I use my allowances for the purpose for which they are intended, and have spent most of my savings setting myself up to do this job."
The expenses scandal, which began in May after the Daily Telegraph published details of expenses claims for MPs second homes including expensive TV's and elaborate furniture, sent a shockwave through Parliament which saw a number of MPs resign, and the leader of the House of Commons, Michael Martin step down.
At the height of the scandal, Mr Holloway agreed to let the Reporter see his expense receipts. We revealed from April 2005 to April 2008 he claimed a total of £418,000 in allowances, including £65,000 for his second home.
The claims included £524 for a TV, £5,200 for carpets and £10,000 on stamp duty for his second home.
When asked for more details of the "discrepancies" Mr Legg had highlighted, Mr Holloway replied: "One of my team is an ex auditor, and he and I, and an accountant, are sure Legg has got it wrong, so they are irrelevant."
After the Daily Telegraph's revelations, party leaders pledged to change the system, and the independent review by auditor Sir Legg began.
Letters have been sent out to hundreds of MPs asking for money back, including Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who has been asked to pay back £12,415.
Tory leader David Cameron has said he will withdraw the whip from any of his MPs who refuse to pay when asked.
He said: "In the end, if people are asked to pay back money and if the authorities determine that money should be paid back and they don't pay it back, in my view, they can't stand as Conservative MPs.