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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 20 November, 2019

A British politician claimed back 9p for his 321-metre journey

Rob Wilson has made 160 claims for under £1.

A CONSERVATIVE PARTY MP has defended claiming nine pence (12 cents) for a 321-metre journey.

Shutterstock-134818151 Source: Shutterstock

Rob Wilson, an MP for Reading East, claimed the money for a trip he made from his house to a constituency engagement on the same street on 29 March 2014. He could have walked the journey in about four minutes.

The Metro reports the claim is one of 160 for under £1 (€1.43) he has made since 2010.

mileage Source: IPSA via Metro

The website reports that Wilson claimed 13p (18c) for a 0.48km business visit and was paid back 36p (51c) for a 1.2km trip on two occasions.

The MP also claimed for 52 trips between his constituency office and the train station – which are less than a mile apart.

According to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), Wilson claimed a total of £21,808.03 (€31,212.40) between April 2014 and March 2015.

This is on top of his £67,000 (€95,900) salary, which will soon rise to £74,000 (€105,900).

Soccer - Members of Parliament v Sports Media - London Wilson (right) with Robert Pires after a charity football match in 2011. Source: Nick Potts

Wilson defended claiming the small amounts, telling Metro: “Many of my journeys are over fairly short distances of a few miles, but with a number of visits each week over a year the mileage does add up.

I can see how small claims might look odd, but it is important that all MPs do the job properly and stay connected with local people.

“I have been able to save the taxpayer several hundreds of thousands of pounds over the past ten years by commuting into London by train rather than paying for hotels or renting a property.”

Read: Ministers don’t have to explain most of their €1.4 million personal expenses

Read: How much has Joan Burton’s department spent on consultants?

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Órla Ryan

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