(2009) Conservative M.P. Michael Ancram

Michael Ancram, the former Conservative deputy leader, put the cost of having his swimming pool boiler serviced on his taxpayer-funded parliamentary allowances.

The MP, who is the Marquess of Lothian, submitted claims running to thousands of pounds for gardening and cleaning at his country house, also charging for maintenance at a cottage set in the grounds used by his housekeeper.

After being asked by The Daily Telegraph over the claims, he agreed to repay the £98.58 cost of his swimming pool boiler repair, but insisted that all his other claims were necessary for maintaining his property, saying: “None of the other items were extravagant or luxurious.”

Among the receipts submitted by the MP, who retired to the backbenches after losing the leadership contest to David Cameron in 2005, were payments for “rodent control”, moss removal and the servicing of his Aga oven.

One receipt, issued by a local heating engineer in May 2006, shows that Mr Ancram claimed £90.17 for a boiler service at his “main house,” another £98.58 for the swimming pool boiler, and £72.50 for a third boiler at “Honeysuckle Cottage”.

He converted the cottage for the use of a couple who look after the house when he and his wife are away.

The same month, Mr Ancram asked for reimbursement of £1,117.43 for a gardening bill which included “cleaning up moss etc” on the house in the Vale of Pewsey, Wiltshire.

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