Openly gay minister Peter Mandelson caught up in latest expenses scandal
Business secretary and openly gay minister Peter Mandelson billed taxpayers £3,000 for work on his constituency home less than a week after standing down as MP for Hartlepool.
His expenses, along with those of a number of other high profile politicians, were exposed in the Daily Telegraph this morning.
Receipts show his decorator sent him an invoice for £1,350 relating to work done at the house in Hutton Avenue on July 25th, two days after he accepted an offer from Tony Blair to become Britain’s European Commissioner.
Three days later, his gardener sent him a bill for £1,500 for work in the garden of the house, followed by a bill for £385 for work on the house’s roof and bathroom, dated September 23rd.
Under parliamentary rules, MPs may bill the taxpayer for “necessary repairs to make good dilapidations” but cannot claim for anything which will increase property values.
He renovated the Hartlepool house in 2004 before selling it for a profit of £136,000.
Lord Mandelson was forced to resign as the trade secretary in 1998 after it was revealed he borrowed £373,000 from Geoffrey Robinson, the paymaster general, to buy a house in Notting Hill without declaring the loan to his building society or the government.
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In a statement, he said: “The work done was necessary maintenance. All claims made were reasonable and submitted consistent with parliamentary rules.”
The receipts obtained by the newspaper have put 13 ministers in the spotlight over their expenses claims.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown was found that have paid his brother Andrew more than £6,500 for the use of a cleaner at his private flat in Westminster as well as claiming twice for a plumbing bill.
Communities secretary Hazel Blears claimed for three different properties in a single year, while former deputy Prime Minister John Prescott had his toilet seat repaired twice in two years at the taxpayer’s expense.
Northern Ireland secretary Shaun Woodward, who defected from the Conservative party after being sacked from the front bench for his support of repealing Section 28, claimed almost £100,000 to help pay mortgage interest repayments on a £1.3 million flat in London.
It was one of 13 properties owned by Woodward, who is believed to be the richest member of the Cabinet.