Conservative MP Chris Grayling under fire for his expense claims

The Sunday Mirror is highlighting Conservative MP Chris Grayling’s expense claims for his flat near Parliament:

Top Tory Chris Grayling has claimed £104,183 of taxpayers’ money over six years for a London flat – even though he has a family home just 17 miles away from Westminster.

And neighbours of the Shadow Home Secretary say they “rarely, if ever” see him at the Westminster flat where his postbox is packed with unopened mail.

On the eve of becoming an MP in June 2001, Mr Grayling, 46, paid £127,000 for the one-bedroom flat in a six-storey block, which has views of Westminster Cathedral and is only a short stroll from the House of Commons.

But a local estate agent said the value of properties in the block had soared to between £210,000 and £330,000, despite the recession.

Our inquiry sparked claims from MPs last night that Mr Grayling  would trouser a huge profit from the London property market,  largely thanks to taxpayers’ c.ash..

Last night, campaigning Lib Dem MP Norman Baker attacked Mr Grayling’s use of taxpayers’ cash, saying: “MPs get this allowance to help carry out their duties. It is not intended to make a capital gain on property.”

It’s the flat which has been in the news before, when previously Chris Grayling tried to talk down just how many properties he owns (he talked about living in an ex-council flat, but omitted to mention he owns in total two houses and a flat in London plus a house in Surrey).

As I said then, it is notable that he has frequently been the Conservative Party’s ‘attack dog’, criticising people in other parties with allegations of double standards and ethical lapses.

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