Morecambe MP calls for changes after expense claims errors

The Morecambe and Lunesdale MP has strongly refuted allegations by a national newspaper that he had claimed driving expenses in the UK while he was on official foreign trips.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 22nd November 2016, 9:48 am
Updated Tuesday, 22nd November 2016, 12:09 pm
David Morris MP.
David Morris MP.

And David Morris has now called for an overhaul of the current MPs’ expenses computer system where he has identified errors in claim details which formed the basis of the story.

Mr Morris’ mileage claims were published on the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) website and his overseas trips on his separate register of interests.

The figures in the Mail on Sunday allegedly showed Mr Morris claiming for UK mileage while he was on a number of official trips overseas.

But Mr Morris said on Tuesday: “Having now had time to assess my paper documentation in London it is clear that the majority of the allegations occurred on dates when I was in the country (12 out of 25) either before I flew out or after I arrived back, and therefore should not have even been included in the article.

“I have identified five claims which were made for journeys by myself but where it is clear the wrong date has been automatically selected on IPSA’s system where the lines have been entered on the form.

“I will be contacting IPSA to clarify this information and to log a common fault experienced by other MPs with the system which should be rectified.

“I will also be highlighting with IPSA errors in their new public system where incorrect payment amounts have been attributed to claims which are different to those which appear on the MPs’ system.

“I have encountered three claims which are in dispute. Two of these claims were deleted before submission but appear to have been processed on the new IPSA system, one of the claims is an IPSA computer error when two lines have been duplicated.

“Both of these will be investigated with IPSA.

“I think this exercise highlights the need for a new computer system for MPs’ expenses as it appears that the current system is antiquated, resulting in errors that have the potential to do great harm to MPs’ reputations.

“I will be taking this matter up with IPSA and I have instructed solicitors who will be advising on potential legal action against the Mail on Sunday.”