Yorkshire MPs bill tax payers over £4k in first class rail travel including over £2k from one MP alone

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A group of Yorkshire MPs have billed tax payers for over £4k to fund first class train travel in the past 12 months, according to new statistics.

Almost 150 MPs from across the political spectrum made over 2,200 claims for first class tickets.

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Spending has totalled £208,500 in the 12 months to March 2021, according to analysis of The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) expenses data by NationalWorld.

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Almost 150 MPs from across the political spectrum made over 2,200 claims for first class tickets. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA.Almost 150 MPs from across the political spectrum made over 2,200 claims for first class tickets. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA.
Almost 150 MPs from across the political spectrum made over 2,200 claims for first class tickets. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA.

This included £4,093 worth of bills from a selection of Yorkshire MPs.

Top of that spending list is Yvette Cooper, the Labour MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford, who claimed back £2,343 in the past 12 months alone.

Conservative MP for Morley and Outwood Andrea Jenkyns and Imran Ahmad Khan of Wakefield both claimed over £700 with £760 and £733 claimed respectively.

Danielle Boxall, media campaign manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance, explained how the MP expenses system works.

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"Taxpayers expect politicians to keep their feet on the ground. If MPs can get organised to order a first class ticket in advance, they should usually be able to get standard class cheaper." she said.

"Most people are happy to travel standard class, and these tickets are almost always better value for money."

Elsewhere within Yorkshire, Pudsey MP Stuart Andrew and Leeds North East MP Fabian Hamilton claimed back £116 and £100 in first class travel respectively.

While Labour MP for Hemsworth, Jon Trickett, claimed back £41.

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A spokesperson for IPSA said: “MPs can claim the cost of travel on parliamentary business, however the claims cannot exceed the cost of a standard class ticket on the day of purchase. First-class tickets are permitted if these conditions are met.”

In a statement provided to the YEP, Morley and Outwood MP Andrea Jenkyns, who claimed back £760 in expenses said, said:

“I always try to book the seats in advance when travelling on the train to help keep the costs down. Invariably, I am also travelling with my young son who is under 5, so we need two seats together.

"As a public servant, I have always been conscious of my expenses, especially when journeying between my Constituency and London, and I will continue to do my best to keep my travelling costs as low as possible.

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"Also, as a Member of Parliament, I need privacy to work on my laptop as often I am dealing with sensitive and personal constituency matters; and also as a Government Whip I need to be able to work in privacy.”

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