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