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MP’s expenses claims lowest

MACCLESFIELD MP Sir Nicholas Winterton has claimed the lowest amount of annual expenses of any Commons’ representative in the North West.

MACCLESFIELD MP Sir Nicholas Winterton has claimed the lowest amount of annual expenses of any Commons’ representative in the North West.

The Tory stalwart claimed £89,135 – £6,056 going on travel – between April 2007 and March 2008, new expenses figures from the Government have revealed.

He was the only MP of 31 across the region to fall under the £100,000 mark.

Sir Nick’s wife, MP for Congleton Lady Ann Winterton, was third lowest at £121,352, including travel, while MP for Rossendale and Darwen, Janet Anderson, topped the list with £173, 540.

Sir Nick said: "I can only say that I try to tackle matters of expenses in a responsible way, as I always have; I don’t spend any more money than is absolutely necessary to do the job expected of me by the people of Macclesfield."

When asked about his travel expenses, he said: "Yes, I believe I could cut down on the number of events I attend around Parliament and my constituency, which would cut down on my mileage. But I wouldn’t be doing the job the people of Macclesfield expect me to do.  And I drive with my wife to and from London, which is vastly cheaper than the train, and I also subsidise my travel with my salary."

Among Sir Nick’s claims were staffing costs of £55,388, office running costs of £7,812, and £1,045 for stationery.

When it comes to claims for IT and computer allowance, Sir Nick accrued £919 costs, lower than hundreds of MPs.

He said: "My secretary is an expert in computing, and wonderfully useful, but I am a tactile person, not a technological person! I would much rather visit people face to face, than write an email and see a waterfall of paper print-outs come into the office."

When questioned about Home Secretary Jacqui Smith’s recent claim for her husband’s pornographic films, Sir Nick said: "I don’t wish to make a comment as such. But I’m glad it’s not me!"

 
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