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MP steps forward with receipts

PUBLISHED: 16:15 27 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:45 25 August 2010

EXPENSES EXPOSED: Clive Efford.

EXPENSES EXPOSED: Clive Efford.

JUST one MP has come forward with his expense receipts to dispel public mistrust in his spending habits, writes Jules Cooper.

JUST one MP has come forward with his expense receipts to dispel public mistrust in his spending habits, writes Jules Cooper.

Of the five Members of Parliament that serve constituents in Bexley and Greenwich, only Clive Efford, MP for Eltham and Plumstead, has published his full receipts.

The former taxi driver who held a majority of 8.2 per cent over the Conservatives last election, published his receipts on his website.

Mr Efford said: "I assure you that I am as angry as anyone, particularly as the action of some MPs has called into question the integrity of all MPs.

"Because I believe in transparency I am happy to provide full details of the invoices and receipts."

Mr Efford's incidental expense included £39.69 spent at an arts and crafts shop in Eltham High Street, £352.50 for a rent evaluation and thousands spent on IT advice.

Most of his receipts are for BT phone bills, which amassed to over £1,900 in 2004, renting halls for surgeries, publishing annual reports, office equipment and IT support.

However petty cash withdrawals have no receipts to show what money was used for. In 2004 to 2005 Mr Efford took out £159.83.

The following year he took out £575.98 mostly in round numbers, then £559 the year after. But last year he stopped taking petty cash out altogether.

Bexleyheath MP David Evennett published a skin-deep list of last year's expenses on his website upon orders by Tory HQ.

Lacking copies of receipts, they show that he claimed £108,837, including some £13,369 to run his office aside from stationery and IT, staffing and communications bills.

Greenwich and Woolwich MP Nick Raynsford said he was trying get Parliament's fees office to remove 'erroneous' expenses from his records before releasing them.

The former Local Government Minister said: "It's not a sum of money that was drawn by me. It concerned catering bills which I have had no use for."

John Austin, MP for Erith and Thamesmead, has also not refused to publish his receipts and has claimed he will take legal action against a national newspaper who published details of his expense claims.

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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