(2009) New Labour M.P. Howard Stoate -PARASITE

Howard Stoate, the Labour MP for Dartford, submitted bills for thousands of pounds worth of DIY materials as he spent years doing up his second home.

The Labour MP for Dartford, whose taxpayer-funded flat in London is only 15 miles from his constituency home, claimed a total of £55,836 in second home allowances in four years, while having no rent or mortgage to pay.

More than £1,000 of the money was spent in B&Q, the DIY retailer, and hundreds more in other home supply stores such as Focus. Dr Stoate spent £4,520 on Everest replacement windows.

Dr Stoate, who worked as a GP before entering politics, is known in Parliament for his practical side. He is also a motoring enthusiast who built his own two-seater kit car.

Since the expenses scandal broke, Dr Stoate has pledged not to claim second home allowances in future and has returned his entire claim for the 2008-09 financial year, amounting to £11,000.

Between 2005 and 2008, Dr Stoate made claims for materials including paint, timber, pipes, shelves, sandpaper, dust sheets and cabling.

Almost all the receipts included in his expense claim are from stores near his constituency home in Dartford, Kent. One B&Q receipt, submitted in 2005, included £5.14 for MDF, £5.96 for stripwood, £24.76 for loft insulation, £8.23 for ready-made plaster, £2.78 for a hinge and £1.30 for a washer.

Two days later, at the same store, Dr Stoate bought a tin of undercoat for £4.98, Dulux gloss paint for £8.28, £4.48 wood stain, a cabinet knob for £2.98 and adhesive for £4.48. Another claim for a B&Q receipt in 2007 included £13.98 for a ball valve, 98p for assorted screws, £4.96 for two tap connectors and £15.78 for three lengths of 15mm tubing.

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