Ian Blackford rakes in £241k in expenses: SNP MP second highest-claiming MP in Westminster

The Westminster leader for Scotland’s biggest expense in the same year was staffing, for which he claimed £150,616.55. This is compared to an average spend on staffing in the UK as £115,445.02 and £94,159.51 in London.

The MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber claimed £22,941.75 on accommodation, £31,742.82 on travel and subsistence, £36,603.24 on office costs, and £963.85, according to figures from IPSO and Daily Telegraph.

IPSA said MPs serving as party leaders often have higher claims, while those who live further away from Westminster often have higher travel claims.

Mr Blackford came in second to DUP MP Jim Shannon who claimed the highest expenses of any MP at £242,135.71.

The figures also revealed eight SNP MPs, including Mr Blackford, made the top ten highest-claiming MPs.

They include Drew Hendry, who claimed £236,981.90, John McNally who claimed£224,938.43, Chris Stephens at £224,301.52 , Gavin Newlands who raked in £224,080.88, Hannah Bardell with £222,960.32, Patrick Grady who claimed £220,131.95 and Brendan O’Hara at
£220,081.13.

Tory MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan came in as fourth highest claiming MP with £226,479.95.

While Kettering MP Philip Hollobone claimed the lowest amount of expenses at £7,117.49.

MPs in London constituencies usually have lower accommodation claims because they are not allowed to claim for a second home.

The figures come after the Parliament’s expenses authority said MPs can claim £10,000 for additional office costs amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The cash can be used to buy additional equipment such as laptops and printers for staff who are having to work from home.

This comes on top of the £26,000 MPs can claim to cover office costs.

IPSA it was “committed to supporting MPs and their staff to carry on with their work as far as possible” during this “uncertain and challenging time for the country”.

They have also suspended the 90-day limit for claiming costs and relaxed the requirements on producing evidence of money spent.

While the monthly credit limit on MPs’ payment card has risen to £10,000 and the single transaction limit has been increased to £5,000.

Express.co.uk has contacted the SNP and Mr Blackford’s office for comment.

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