Chris Bryant, the openly gay Labour MP for Rhondda, has said the reason he ‘flipped’ his second home was to escape homophobic thugs who daubed lewd messages on his main constituency property.
The Deputy Leader of the House of Commons, told Walesonline.com that this caused him to switch his second home twice in two years and claiming a total of £92,415 in second home expenses since 2004.
According to figures revealed by the Daily Telegraph yesterday, he claimed £13,000 for renovations, repairs and appliances in 2004, although he tried to claim £58,000.
In 2005, he flipped his expenses to his West London flat, which he bought for £400,000 in April 2002, claiming £630 a month for mortgage interest and bills.
He sold the flat 15 months later for a £77,000 profit and bought another property for £670,000, immediately flipping his expenses to that property.
Mr Bryant said he had taken police advice and moved house to ensure his safety after the attacks on his Stanleytown property.
He said: “I decided to move to a less isolated and more secure property in the constituency.
“I notified the Parliamentary Fees Office of the costs of some of the work done to my new home in Porth.
“I made it clear I never expected all of this to be paid by them. I explicitly asked them what, if anything, it was appropriate to claim for. I followed their advice.”
He added: “My constituents in the Rhondda know I would never break the rules or the spirit of the rules.
“When I have spent more time in Parliament in London than in Wales I have nominated my London flat as my main home, but when I have spent more time in my constituency than in London I have nominated my Rhondda home as my main home, as the rules specify.
“I have always sought and followed the advice of the Parliamentary Fees Office and I fully support the publishing of all of our receipts as soon as possible.”
On Friday, PinkNews.co.uk revealed that Mr Bryant was on a list of “criminal” politicians drawn up by a British National Party councillor.
The list, titled “Liars, buggers and thieves”, placed Mr Bryant and former Labour MP Ron Davies, neither of whom have ever been convicted of any criminal offence, alongside rapists and paedophiles.