Sir Menzies Campbell’s expenses claims show that he brought in the designer to fit out his small flat in Dolphin Square, a few hundred yards from the House of Commons.
He justified the claims by saying he had not used his full second home allowance in previous years.
The refurbishment claim under the Additional Costs Allowance included Roman blinds worth £528.75, five cushions costing £176.25, four bedside shelves totalling £1,420, as well as tie hangers, bulbs, a laundry basket, and extension cable costing £66.90.
Cost of designer refurb, nearly £10k. I suppose I should, before beating my own cushions to death in a fit of rage, differentiate here between “luxury items” and the basics required for fitting out a living space. The principle of the refurbishment in general, the laundry basket, bulbs, tie hangers, extension leads and the like, yes (though god knows what they were made out of to cost that much; Woolworths hadn’t gone bust at that point). But there’s just no way to describe the expenditure of nearly two hundred quid on four cushions other than taking the piss. Out of common sense, never mind the taxpayer.