(2009) New Labour M.P. Barry Gardiner -PARASITE

Barry Gardiner, a former environment minister, made £198,500 profit from a flat funded and refurbished at taxpayers' expense.

The Labour MP for Brent North bought a flat in Pimlico for £246,500 in 2003 and spent more than £11,000 renovating it – and claiming mortgage interest – before selling it for £445,000 in 2007, according to the Land Registry.

He spent £2,000 on decorators and a kitchen was installed. Other receipts covered plumbing and rewiring.

Although the rules say that "extravagant or luxurious" items should be avoided, the MP claimed £235 on bed linen from Harrods and £248 for a Christopher Wray light.

His council tax and mortgage interest costs of around £1,000 a month were also covered by expenses.

Cheaper items included a £65 "mixer tap" and an £80 gas hob. Parliamentary rules state that the additional costs allowance should not be spent on enhancing the property.

During the four financial years that he owned the flat, Mr Gardiner claimed £81,935 – £14 short of the maximum allowance.

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