Tory MP for Grantham and Stamford Nick Boles decided to learn Hebrew after entering into a civil partnership with his Israeli boyfriend, and included the £678 cost of the lessons on his parliamentary expenses account.
Boles, who has called for an end to free public transport and the winter fuel allowance for OAPs, has been criticised for the claim. However, he was unrepentant and stated that he was “entitled” to learn the language, which is the mother tongue of his civil partner, Shay Meshulam.
In a statement issued yesterday, Boles said: “Language instruction is a service available to Members of Parliament. I took some Hebrew lessons. It is something I’m entitled to do. I’ve done it and that’s that.”
However, Matthew Sinclair, of the British TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “Nick Boles has abused this taxpayer-funded perk in order to make conversation around the breakfast table a little easier.
“Mr. Boles’ unapologetic response is particularly galling, given that an attitude of entitlement was one of the root causes of the expenses crisis in the last Parliament.”
Boles is not alone in his actions, however – according to the Mirror, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has claimed over £3,000 in expenses for Mandarin lessons in the last two years after marrying a Chinese woman.