(2009) New Labour M.P. Michael Connarty -PARASITE

Michael Connarty (pictured left), a Labour MP, sold some of the contents of his London home to Jim Devine, a close colleague, before charging the taxpayer thousands of pounds for goods delivered to addresses in Scotland.

Mr Connarty sold his flat in the capital to Mr Devine, an MP from a neighbouring constituency, and left behind some of his furnishings and household items when he moved out.

Mr Devine agreed to pay Mr Connarty £4,000, including £1,000 for a sofa bed. Mr Devine then reclaimed the entire sum as expenses incurred at his designated second home.

Mr Connarty, the MP for Linlithgow and Falkirk East, then claimed thousands of pounds for goods for his new second home in London, including a £250 alarm clock and luxury stereo equipment.

He also claimed back the cost of two beds and two sofas, all purchased in Scotland, which were delivered to his constituency home in Falkirk and an address in Glasgow.

The Green Book, which dictates what is permissible under the Commons second homes allowance, states that MPs must only purchase items necessary for them to perform their duties and forbids anything that could be deemed a luxury.

Less than two weeks before his arrangement with Mr Devine, Mr Connarty submitted an expenses claim for £509.87, including £379.99 for a television and £69.99 for a Freeview box.

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