TWO MPs in the Huddersfield area have been cleared over their expenses claims.
Huddersfield’s Barry Sheerman and Shahid Malik of Dewsbury were both given a clean bill of health by Sir Thomas Legg yesterday.
The former civil servant has been reviewing all MPs’ expenses claims over the last five years following the string of scandals earlier this year.
Sir Thomas has caused controversy by limiting MPs to £2,000 a year for cleaning and £1,000 for gardening at their second homes – rules which did not exist when the claims were made.
Members of Parliament began receiving their letters from Sir Thomas yesterday, with some being asked to pay back thousands of pounds.
But Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman was not asked to pay back any money.
Yesterday the Labour man said: "I’m pleased. I’ve kept scrupulously to the rules.
"Some of my colleagues have been affected by the change in the rules, but I’ve never claimed for gardening and I’ve only claimed a tiny amount for cleaning."
Dewsbury MP Shahid Malik was also given a clean bill of health yesterday.
The Labour man had to stand down from the Government earlier this year while his expenses were scrutinised. He was cleared of any wrongdoing and returned as a minister.
The chairman of Dewsbury Labour Party Stan Gostellow welcomed yesterday’s news.
He said: "When the expenses furore started in May we gave Shahid our full backing. We never doubted it was the correct judgement and we are all pleased he has now been cleared by two investigations, with both finding he has done nothing wrong."
Colne Valley MP Kali Mountford was still waiting for news on her claims last night.
The Labour woman, who is standing down at the next election because of ill health, was at home in Slaithwaite yesterday.
She said: "Sir Thomas’s staff said I would get an email today but it hasn’t arrived. It’s very frustrating when someone says they will do something within a certain time and then doesn’t."
However, Ms Mountford is confident she won’t have to pay back any expenses.
She said: "I don’t think I will have anything to answer. I didn’t have a garden when I lived in London and I didn’t claim within those realms for cleaning."
Wakefield MP Mary Creagh, whose constituency incudes Denby Dale, received her letter from Sir Thomas yesterday.
A staff member told the Examiner yesterday afternoon that the Labour MP was going over the letter and would put out a statement.
The Examiner called Calder Valley MP Chris McCafferty yesterday to ask if she had received a letter.
Her husband David Tarlo answered the phone and said he would ask his wife.
Batley and Spen Labour MP Mike Wood did not receive a letter yesterday, according to a member of staff in his Batley office.