(2009) Conservative M.P. Julie Kirkbride -PARASITE

Andrew MacKay and Julie Kirkbride, the husband-and-wife Tory couple, claimed nearly £2,000 of taxpayers' money in spouses' allowances despite them both being MPs.

Despite them being married to each other, the couple both submitted claims under the spouses' travel allowance.

Neither MP responded to calls yesterday, but spokesman for the House of Commons said that she assumed that the claims had been made to pay for the couple to attend official functions in their spouse's constituency.

Mr McKay, a Parliamentary aide to David Cameron, the Conservative leader, represents Bracknell in Berkshire, while his wife is MP for Bromsgrove in Worcestershire.

Miss Kirkbride received £1,392 from the taxpayer to pay for Mr MacKay's travel costs, while he claimed £408 on her behalf.

The couple are the only husband and wife couple to take advantage of the perk. Fellow Tories Sir Nicholas and Ann Winterton did not use it, and neither did Labour's Alan and Ann Keen, or the Cabinet spouses, Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper.

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