An anonymous correspondent has emailed in with some minor matters of interest regarding his MP’s expenses: in 2007/8, Jonathan Djanogly submitted a claim for Â£5875 without any corroborating invoices. Because of all the censoring of the claims, there is also no clue what this is for.
In 2008/9, he also claimed Â£1807 for cleaning from April to June — one can only imagine that his second home must be beyond pristine. On top of that, he also claimed Â£942 for services and maintenance, and a miserly Â£549 for a freezer. It seems he was obviously living in London along with his family, as he was claiming expenses on his Huntingdon residence which must make that his second home. He also claimed Â£454 to have the electric gates repaired on his second home.
Over the next three months, he claimed Â£1643 for cleaning and Â£2660 for maintenance and Â£1436 for repairs and security.
My correspondent is now confused, as there is also an invoice addressed to Mr & Mrs Djanogly for cleaning two inglenook chimney flues. Does this mean that the cleaner felt that Mr & Mrs Djanogly were living as a family in the home which Mr Djanogly had designated as his second residence for parliamentary purposes, even though the second home is meant to be the residence occupied by the MP to make commuting to Parliament easier? It’s all rather confusing, really.
My correspondent, who lives in Mr Djanogly’s constituency, is also puzzled at the great concerns over security shown by Mr Djanogly – between October and December, he spent an eye-watering Â£4228 on repairs, insurance and security , along with Â£450 on maintenance. The associated invoice shows that the work carried out was “repairs to house, chimney spikes, tarmac road, drains, gloss exterior and bitumen plinth”. I am curious as to how these expenses were wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred to to enable Mr Djanogly to stay overnight away from his only or main home for the purpose of performing his Parliamentary duties — as, indeed, is my correspondent.
At this point, after examining only the first two files in the list, my correspondent says that he feels he needs to lie down with a cold compress on his head and a very stiff drink in his hand. And looking at the behaviour of Mr Djanogly from a dispassionate point of view, it really does seem that he was not only violating the spirit of the expenses system, but the letter of it as well.
I hope that my correspondent will be strong enough to return to the fray soon!