MP claimed for doors before 'flip'

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Preston MP Mark Hendrick was told to repay almost £4,000 he claimed for replacement doors and window frames just a month before he 'flipped' his second home.

He splashed out 3,868.87 of taxpayers cash under the 'second home allowance' for the work on his property in London – which was then his second home – in March 2007.

But just a month later he made his constituency property in Preston his second home.

The Sir Thomas Legg review, which examined past second home claims – known as the Additional Cost Allowance (ACA) – told Mr Hendrick to pay back a total of 6,885.70.

It said the claim for window frames and doors "appears an unnecessary use of the allowance".

In fact, as at April 1, 2009, Mr Hendrick has paid back 9,003.53.

He was also overpaid 2,117.83 for mortgage interest over the review period and was told to pay back 899 for a dining table and wardrobe claimed in August 2004.

The payment "exceeded guideline prices," the review said.

The Legg Review, published this week, looked at ACA claims made by MPs between 2004-05 and 2008-09, and provides recommendations for what MPs should repay.

Some 390 MPs across the country have been ordered to repay more than 1m in expenses claims.

The ACA allows MPs to claim for mortgage interest, council tax, bills, furnishings and repairs up to a maximum of 24,222 a year on their second home.

Michael Jack, MP for Fylde, was told to repay 1,427.74 after claiming 832.74 too much to pay his council tax in 2004/5, 2005/6 and 2007/8.

He also claimed 1,200 of taxpayers cash for a fridge freezer in 2008 – 595 more than the guideline maximum price of 605.

Mr Jack, who will not stand in the next election, has also repaid more than he was asked to – giving back 1,694.34.

Lancaster and Wyre MP Ben Wallace, who publishes all his expense claims on his website, was overpaid by 1,079.99 for mortgage interest in 2008-09, the report says.

But, as at 1 April 2009, he had not paid anything back.

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans was also asked to repay money after receiving 858.33 of taxpayers money in duplicate payments for service charges and ground rent in 2004/5 and 2005/6. He has repaid 1,030.31.

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper, Morecambe and Lunesdale MP Geraldine Smith, Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle and South Ribble MP David Borrow were all said to have "no issues" and have not been asked to repay any of the addition cost allowance expenses they claimed.

The Legg Review condemned the system of MPs expenses as "deeply flawed" with blame heaped on both MPs and the Commons fees office.

The Lancashire Evening Post requested comments from Mr Hendrick, Mr Wallace and Mr Jack but they did not respond.

Nigel Evans said: "It is absolutely right that the review took place. I had already repaid the money that had arisen from administrative errors before today's report.

"I hope that we can now move on with a completely transparent system that the public can have faith in."

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