Andrew Responds To Telegraph's Gutter Journalism.


Dear Sir,

Your reference to me in an article on MPs’ expenses was misleading and mischievous. The main article was about living expenses claimed by Members of the Westminster Parliament, against whose greed and dishonesty we campaigned during the European elections. However, MEPs do not claim living expenses: we receive a flat rate subsistence allowance. Whilst there is no requirement to keep any record of how that is spent, I have kept a record of money spent on accommodation, hotels and meals, which I show to my colleagues in case they should think that I am enriching myself. I have never heard of any other MEP keeping such a record. The only other personal expense received is for travel. I make a claim only for amounts expended (the exact fare if I fly and the exact mileage if I drive or am driven). The amounts received in both subsistence and travel are on public record and I am not under any obligation to make any other return.

The allowances are quite distinct from personal expenses and cannot be used for personal enrichment or personal expenditure. The General Expenditure Allowance (for office expenses in the UK) is paid at a flat rate of 4,202 Euros per calendar month. I have it paid into a separate account and I keep a strict record of all money spent from it. If there is a surplus at the end of the year, I shall declare that surplus to the relevant office. I have not been asked to make any return but I have the exact figures if I am asked to do so.

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