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Expenses cover up

PUBLISHED: 12:45 25 June 2009 | UPDATED: 16:52 25 August 2010

THE official publication of MPs expenses was labelled a whitewash after many damaging claims were blacked out.

THE official publication of MPs expenses was labelled a whitewash after many damaging claims were blacked out.

Some of the most notorious claims such as the duck island, moat cleaning and Jacqui Smith's husband's porn purchases were nowhere to be seen last Thursday after Parliament finally published more than a million PDF documents of MPs' receipts on its website.

The disclosure followed a lengthy court battle and came more than a year after the High Court stipulated that MPs should be subject to Freedom of Information laws as they were spending public money.

Derek Conway had monthly cleaning bills of £100.66 and £301 service and maintenance charges in 2007.

He claimed for three digital camera over the three years - £199 for a white Sony Cybershot T70 in March last year (08), £675 for a Canon digital SLR camera in November 2005 and £253.95 for one in April 05.

More than £700 was spent on accessories for his car - £352.71 for a hands-free car kit in December 2007 and £348.95 for a Sat Nav system in September 2007.

Home goods receipts included £249 Sebox4 vacuum cleaner in February last year (08) and a £229 Mega Mix auto-metallic grey coffee machine in July 2007.

A £653.85 electrician bill was footed by the taxpayer in January last year (08) and £129 for a computer bag in April 2007.

Also spotted was a £108 monthly bill for the text message service from the oppositions whips' office in June 2005.

Labour MP John Austin charged £411.19 to tax payers for 1,000 18th birthday cards in April 2007 and £332.60 for bathroom fittings in September 2007.

His monthly service and maintenance bills included ones for £1841.41 and £879.45.

On Monday (22) Bexleyheath and Crayford MP admitted charging his elderly mother for helping her do her paperwork, including bills and tax returns which he declared in the Register of Members Interests.

Mr Evennett along with Greenwich MP Nick Raynsford and Eltham MP Clive Efford do not claim for second homes.

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