Ex-MP spent more than £9,000 on first class rail­way travel

Rochdale Observer - - FRONT PAGE - Da­mon.wilkin­son@men-news.co.uk @Da­monWilkin­son6

FOR­MER Rochdale MP Si­mon Danczuk spent more than £9,000 on first class train travel, the fourth high­est amount of any politi­cian in the coun­try.

Mr Danczuk made 90 first class claims for him­self com­pared to just six stan­dard class claims.

Anal­y­sis of ex­penses for 2016/17 shows he also made 30 first class claims for de­pen­dents, with none in stan­dard-class.

The Ob­server at­tempted to con­tact Mr Danczuk, who lost his seat in June’s Gen­eral Elec­tion after stand­ing as an in­de­pen­dent after be­ing barred from stand­ing for Labour.

Last year, when the fig­ures showed he claimed for the most first class rail jour­neys of any politi­cian, he said: “I travel back and forth be­tween London and my con­stituency more than nearly any other MP.

“That is be­cause, un­like many of my col­leagues, I hold an ad­vice surgery ev­ery week with­out fail and of­ten at­tend meet­ings in Rochdale in the evenings and week­ends. I never claim for more than the stan­dard fare for a first class seat and I al­ways pay the dif­fer­ence out of my own pocket.”

Hey­wood and Mid­dle­ton MP Liz McInnes, whose con­stituency in­cludes Bam­ford, Nor­den and Castle­ton, didn’t claim for any first class rail tick­ets.

She did claim £3,425.25 on 37 stan­dard class rail tick­ets for her­self and £815.70 for staff travel.

Ms McInnes also claimed £129 on bus tick­ets.

The fig­ures come from the In­de­pen­dent Par­lia­men­tary Stan­dards Author­ity.

MPs are al­lowed to claim for first class train travel on ex­penses when un­der­tak­ing Par­lia­men­tary busi­ness when the cost of the ticket is cheaper than the stan­dard class ‘open’ fare.

It is of­ten cheaper to book a first class seat in ad­vance, than to buy a stan­dard ticket on the day.

But in most cases, it would be even cheaper to book a stan­dard class ticket in ad­vance.

●●For­mer Rochdale MP Si­mon Danczuk (in­set) made 90 first class rail travel claims for him­self in the 2016/17 pe­riod

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