(2009) New Labour M.P. Dawn Butler

A GOVERNMENT whip was today embroiled in the growing expenses row after claiming thousands of pounds for a second London home despite already having one within 10 miles of Westminster.

Assistant government whip Dawn Butler has claimed £37,245 in taxpayers' cash in two years to pay for a second property.

The Labour MP for Brent South has a house in Wembley, aboutnine miles or a 32-minute Tube journey to Westminster, and a home in Stratford, about eight miles or a 24-minute Tube ride.

She was today facing questions over why she needed the two homes, which are almost exactly the same distance from the Houses of Parliament. Her office has stressed in the past that she moved into the Wembley house after being elected in 2005 to allow her to serve her constituents.

Ms Butler is the second government member to come under fire this week over second home allowances after it emerged Employment Minister Tony McNulty claimed £60,000 for a house in Harrow where his parents live.

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