MPs Mark Hendrick and Ben Wallace defend home claims

Mark Hendrick
Mark Hendrick
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Lancashire MPs have today defended making claims towards mortgage interest payments on ‘second homes’.

Mark Hendrick, MP for Preston and Ben Wallace, MP for Wyre and Preston North, were among 71 MPs named by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) who have made the legitimate claims.

Ben Wallace

Ben Wallace

Neither of them have been asked to pay any money back.

All MPs used to be able to claim towards the cost of mortgage interest payments on second homes. But, following the expenses scandal, changes came in which stopped the practice for all new MPs.

Those who already had homes under the old system were allowed to claim until August last year, under the agreement they shared any profit made on homes over that period.

Homes owned by Mr Hendrick and Mr Wallace have not gone up in value, so they have not had to pay any money back.

Mr Hendrick’s claim for £7,332 on mortgage interest payments for his home in Preston was for the year following the changes coming in.

He said: “I only claimed for one year. For that year there was a small fall in value rather than an increase.

“The claim related to my home in Preston. You could claim for either but I chose to claim for the Preston home.”

It is understood Mr Wallace’s claims of £4,802 relate to a four-month period at the beginning of 2010, during the transition period, for a flat he owns in London. Mr Wallace was unavailable for comment.

42 of the 71 MPs were not asked to repay anything. 29 were asked to repay a total of £484,000.