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New Forest West MP Sir Desmond Swayne among cheapest MPs in 2020/21, TaxPayers' Alliance reveals, with Julian Lewis and Sir Christopher Chope also below average cost

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NEW Forest West MP Sir Desmond Swayne spent the sixth lowest amount of any MP during 2020/21, figures have revealed.

The backbench Conservative registered £117,698 on his office, staff and expenses claims such as travel and accommodation, the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) revealed.

It was far below the average cost of an MP for 2020/21, which was £203,880. That was a 29.2% increase from the average £157,747 spent in 2019/20.

From left: Dr Julian Lewis, Sir Christopher Chope and Sir Desmond Swayne
From left: Dr Julian Lewis, Sir Christopher Chope and Sir Desmond Swayne

Speaking to the A&T, Sir Desmond joked he "wasn’t aware there was a league table", before adding: "I have always tried to keep my expenses to a minimum.

"To be fair, many MPs have much further to travel, and some urban constituencies generate more constituency casework which adds to staff costs."

Also claiming below-average expenses were New Forest East MP Julian Lewis (£160,838) and Christchurch MP Sir Chris Chope (£142,887).

The TPA figures showed the total cost of MPs’ expenses up 4.6% on the previous year to £132.5m, including claims for travel and food of over £2m.

The member for Broxtowe, Darren Henry, was Britain’s most expensive MP (£280,936). The least expensive was Kettering member Philip Hollobone (£80,709).

TPA chief executive John O’Connell said: "It’s important MPs have the resources to do their jobs, but many taxpayers will be worried about the soaring cost of politics.

"The electorate expects politicians to stay grounded and keep costs under control, particularly given the Covid-19 pandemic saw many MPs and their staff work from home.

"With taxpayers facing a cost of living crisis, politicians should be doing their utmost to keep their spending down."

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