Rory Stewart expenses: How Tory hopeful claimed more than £150k in just one year

Mr Stewart, one of the six remaining Tory leadership candidates, claimed £152,819 between January and November 2017, according to a breakdown of his expenses. The Tory MP for Penrith and The Border and Secretary of State for International Development has published his expenses since 2010 on his website. The last report available includes a monthly payment of £233.90 for the MP’s office in his constituency and £1,060 a month for his apartment. 

Other expenses are listed mainly under the categories “office costs”, “MP travel” and “staff travel”.

The heftiest expense claimed amounts to £128,839.68, to cover for the “total staffing budget payroll costs for the 2016-17 year”, according to the report.

Mr Stewart explained on his website which expenses he believes should be claimed and why.

He wrote: “My principle on expenses is to claim only for items that are directly related to my work as a constituency MP.”  

The Cabinet minister added he only claims expenses related to train and car travel, constituency surgeries, staff salaries both in Westminster and his constituency, office costs, a “proportion of the rent and some expenses for my constituency home” and parliamentary research services.

While his net worth is unknown, Mr Stewart’s salary as an MP is likely to amount approximately to £79,468, to which must be added his salary as a Cabinet minister.

Mr Stewart, who is presenting himself as the alternative to Boris Johnson in the Conservative Party, with his stark opposition to a no deal Brexit and pro-EU views, gained the support of 19 out of the 313 Tory MPs on the first round of voting last week.

Mr Johnson, former Foreign Secretary and MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, has claimed almost £5,000 less than Mr Stewart between 2017 and 2018, according to a breakdown of his expenses published on the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa)’s website. 

Ipsa reported Mr Johnson claimed £5,029.76 for office costs and £142,701.29 for staffing.

However, Mr Johnson has been accused earlier this year by MPs sitting on the Committee on Standards of having shown an “over-casual attitude towards obeying the rules of the House”.

The Tory Brexiteer, who is leading the leadership race with 114 MPs backing him, was accused of failing to register his part-ownership of a property in Somerset until almost a year after the deadline.

Mr Johnson apologised and told the committee he misunderstood rules which say land or property worth more than £100,000 and rental income of more than £10,000 a year must be registered within 28 days.    

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