Government minister among MPs who claimed driving fines on expenses

A Tory minister and three other MPs claimed hundreds of pounds of driving fines on expenses – despite it being against the rules. 

They are now being contacted and asked to repay the money.

Amanda Solloway, a minister in the energy department who used to serve under Suella Braverman at the Home Office, was one of the MPs who claimed for the fines.

The Derby North MP, who is also a government whip, claimed back an £80 fixed penalty notice issued by Transport for London in July 2020.

Fellow Conservative MP Simon Hoare, who represents North Dorset, claimed four times for £80 fines issued in November 2019.

Mr Hoare is also chair of the Northern Ireland affairs committee in the Commons.

While Bim Afolami, another Tory MP, claimed for two £80 fines in December 2021.

Mr Afolami, whose constituency is Hitchin and Harpenden, told the PA news agency the expenses claim was “completely inadvertent”.

“All money repaid the moment that I knew about it,” he added.

Dave Doogan, SNP MP for Angus, claimed for a £160 fine in January 2022.

The claims were detailed in the expenses register and first revealed by The Independent.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), which approves and pays expenses, admitted it wrongfully allowed the payments to be made.

A spokesperson for the watchdog said: “MPs are not allowed to claim for penalty charges and fines under IPSA rules.

“IPSA’s checks failed in some cases to identify these claims and some of them were paid.

“We will contact MPs and ask them to repay, where appropriate. We have changed our process to ensure any future such claims are not paid, and will reiterate the scheme rules to MPs.”

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The controversy comes after Rishi Sunak decided not to launch a formal investigation into Suella Braverman following reports she asked civil servants to arrange a private awareness course after she was caught speeding.

Labour’s shadow Commons leader, Thangam Debbonaire, told The Independent: “While Rishi Sunak’s MPs break the rules and try and make the taxpayer pick up the bill, working people are left struggling to cope with the soaring Tory cost-of-living crisis.

“Tory MPs flouting the rules damages public confidence in the system. Rishi Sunak must clamp down on the rule-breakers in his party and get on with delivering for the British people.”

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