Workington MP reacts to sixth highest refund claims

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WORKINGTON MP Mark Jenkinson has said ‘he will not apologize’ for expense claims, which he says are largely aimed at employing staff in the constituency who do ‘work fantastic” to help residents.

Mr Jenkinson was the sixth biggest expense claimant of Parliament’s 650 MPs according to the MPsexpenses.info website, claiming £261,588.88 between February 1, 2021 and January 31, 2022.

The 655 claims made by the MP included £24,105.12 claimed in travel costs for Mr Jenkinson and his staff, as well as £34,158.87 in accommodation claims.

Mr Jenkinson said: “I won’t apologize – I sincerely believe MPs should be allowed to do their job.

“The large, very large part of this claim is for the salaries of staff who process 250 new cases every week through this constituency office.

“I saw an article that was written the other day about travel costs and again it’s travel and accommodation for my staff and I, who are traveling to London either for a specific purpose, like using the home office hub when we were dealing with a lot of passport and visa issues.

“I don’t have staff in London, deliberately to cut staff costs because staff in London are better paid, so I employ people in the constituency and they do a fantastic job.

“I strongly believe that MPs should not have to apologize for employing local staff to deal with constituent issues.

“My office is very good at getting very good results for constituents in all areas, we don’t dismiss any complaints, any issues, we deal with them all and to the best of our abilities, we make sure everyone leaves with a solution to their problem.

Mr Jenkinson also pointed to the remoteness of the Workington constituency as a reason for high travel demands saying even some MPs in the north of Scotland could get home cheaper and easier with air travel.

He said: “While traveling I also have one of the hardest to reach constituencies, one of the most remote in England.

“Those in the north of Scotland, for example, can get home more easily and cheaper than we can in West Cumbria.”

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