Simon Danczuk has to repay more than £11,000 in expenses
Date published: 18 March 2016
Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk has to repay more than £11,000 in expenses.
The total claimed by the MP in breach of the Scheme and which he is required to repay is £11,583.20.
Mr Danczuk has also been ordered to repay £96.50 he claimed in car parking charges between 26 July 2015 and 1 August 2015 while on holiday in Spain.
The Compliance Officer for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has published his Statement of Provisional Findings as part of his investigation into claims made under the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses by Mr Danczuk.
Mr Danczuk claimed accommodation costs for two children who did not "routinely" live with him.
The IPSA findings state: "The evidence points overwhelmingly to the conclusion that the MP obtained an increase to his accommodation expenditure budget by claiming dependant uplifts for his two oldest children for a period of over three years, when, at no point were either of the children routinely resident."
"The compliance officer must also conclude that this was done knowing that there was no reasonable prospect of the children staying at the accommodation.
"In order to qualify for the dependant uplift, the Fourth Edition of the Scheme (and all subsequent editions) require the MP to certify that any dependant being claimed for routinely resides at the rented accommodation.
"All available evidence points to the conclusion that the MP’s oldest son stayed at his London accommodation once, prior to Mr Danczuk registering his older two children with IPSA and beginning to claim the additional uplift. There is no evidence that his daughter has ever stayed in London.
"Subsequent to the registration of his older children with IPSA and the consequent claims for two further dependant uplifts, neither child has ever stayed at his London accommodation.
"At the point that the MP registered his older children, his eldest son had not stayed at his London accommodation for approximately two months and his daughter had never stayed. Mrs Rossington, the MP’s former wife, would argue that the MP had no relationship with the two children at this point and there was no viable prospect of them ever staying.
"Despite this situation having persisted for over three years the MP has, at no stage, contacted IPSA in order to alert them to the fact that the children were not routinely resident, allowing IPSA the opportunity to reduce his Accommodation Expenditure budget accordingly."
Simon Danczuk said: “My accommodation claims were made according to what I believed at the time to be an accurate interpretation of IPSA’s guidelines.
“Regrettably, due to the vague wording of the rules, I inadvertently claimed 10% more than my annual living allowance, money which was paid directly to my landlord in London and not to me.
“I hold my hands up and admit that this was an error on my part.
“Many MPs have told me that they had interpreted the regulations in a similar way and I welcome the suggestion that the regulator is considering a review of the guidelines.
"I will happily work with IPSA to help bring the regulations up to date so they are more in line with the day to day realities of modern family life.
"I am relieved that this issue has finally been cleared up and I will of course re-pay the full amount at the earliest opportunity.”
It is understood that Mr Danczuk will not have to repay the money all at once.