MP in expenses probe

Mark Hendrick
Mark Hendrick
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Preston’s MP will not face any penalities following an investigation into expenses claims.

Mark Hendrick came under scrutiny after a complaint was received from a member of the public about the website of an MP.

This sparked an across-the-board check of all sites and revealed an irregularity on Mr Hendrick’s own website.

The site displayed a party political logo on its links page, which contravened new rules relating to expenses claims.

The investigation focused on whether Mr Hendrick should have submitted several claims of £29.38 for the site between August 2010 and January 2011.

But the MP said the website in question had been taken off-line and replaced before he received notice that he was being investigated.

Mr Hendrick said: “I changed hosting company because I felt they were charging too much and at that point the logo disappeared.

“The authorities have been fine about it.”

He said that the logo had originally been legitimate and fell within the rules relating to expenses claims, which changed only after the general election.

A report from Martyn Taylor, compliance officer for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) said that reimbursement should not be sought.

However, while Mr Taylor reminded the MP of his responsibility for the correct submission of claims, he added: “The majority of the claims in this case were made in the six months following the 2010 general election, following which the new scheme came into effect.

“During this period it took time for both MPs and IPSA itself to become fully familiar with the scheme.

“In this case it would be neither proportionate nor reasonable to request a repayment.”