Huhne named in train expenses investigation

Stick to push-bikes Chris – it’s safer

Chris Huhne, Eastleigh’s millionaire MP, has been named by the Sunday Telegraph as one of 185 MPs who have claimed public money for first class rail travel, although under guidelines introduced following the 2009 expenses scandal, MPs should normally travel by standard class when claiming it on expenses:

 “ The expenses watchdog has repeatedly stressed that MPs should exercise “restraint” when claiming public money.”

This follows controversy over the news that the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne recently traveled in a first class train compartment with just a standard fare ticket.

The Telegraph investigation states that the claims comply with the current expenses rules but describes a ‘loophole’ whereby if  a first class ticket is purchased in advance it can be cheaper than a standard ticket bought at short notice although a standard ticket bought in advance can be cheaper still.

Other, high-profile politicians who The Telegraph name as having  claimed for first-class journeys include Labour’s Ed Balls, Yvette Cooper, Frank Field and Alistair Darling, Francis Maude from the Conservatives and Norman Baker the Lib Dem Under Secretary of State for Transport.

Huhne’s travel expenses data on the Parliamentary Standards website show that Mr  Huhne claimed a total of £3,785 between April 2010 -March 2012 on 73 return tickets – the majority of which were purchased at a self service machine. Huhne purchased and claimed for 42 first class and 17 standard class tickets for himself but also 14 standard tickets for members of staff.

Mr Huhne was also caught up in the 2009 MP expenses furore when it was revealed he had claimed public money for a trouser press and a packet of Hob-Nobs –  although he later repaid the money.

More stories on Chris Huhne here

Photo: DECC

  9 comments for “Huhne named in train expenses investigation

  1. Stephen Slominski
    October 21, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Of course he is going to travel First Class otherwise he would spend the entire journey being bothered by people for Hob Nobs.

    He has a busy schedule to organise, (fetes to open, coffee mornings to attend etc) without being forced to Hob Nob with the Hoi Polloi

  2. October 21, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Or may be he wanted to enjoy his hob nobs on his own!!

  3. October 21, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Lol. Very witty chaps. Love the picture.

    I do feel sorry for Chris Huhne though. Despite all the distractions, I do still think of him as being a decent MP for Eastleigh…

    If there was a general election tomorrow, would I be prepared to vote for him again…?

    Certainly would, if it was the usual three/four horse race…

    • E Balls
      October 21, 2012 at 10:26 pm

      Yeah but look again at the photo – it was taken in Apapollco or somewhere else the tax payers paid for – clock the palm trees. Where was it he ran off to when it was the tuition fees vote?

      • mm
        Eastleigh Xpress
        October 21, 2012 at 10:53 pm

        Close, it was taken in Cancun 🙂

        • October 22, 2012 at 8:15 am

          You mean that’s not Eastleigh Rec?

          • mm
            Eastleigh Xpress
            October 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm

            Welcome back Keith!

    • Stephen Slominski
      October 21, 2012 at 10:49 pm

      I thought of him as a decent constituency MP for the town but experience has shown me he is not.

      Let’s put aside the political betrayal over tuition fees and VAT etc for a moment..

      Fact is if you have a gripe with the Conservative led County Council, then I agree, he is your man.

      He has supported the anti-gravellers at Hamble and the ‘save sure start’ mums but when it comes to standing up to Lib Dem EBC over the local Plan, or allotments, Stoneham Park, or Sainsbury’s expansion on the Rec he’s a real nowhere man sitting in a nowhere land

      You are on your own Pal!

      Hardly surprising when members of EBC cabinet have lent his campaign money.

      Prior to the last election Huhne made a great play of how his high public profile, his influence and standing made him a powerful champion for constituents.

      Well in the last Telegraph ‘Top Fifty most influential Lib Dems’ – he wasn’t even in it, having even been eclipsed by people like nerdy Lib Dem blogger Mark Pack ffs.

      Talk about a lack of credibility and clout.

      I don’t need an MP to open fetes, switch on the Xmas lights or walk at the head of the carnival – we’ve already got a Mayor to do all that.

      Don’t get me wrong- I’m not bothered about his personal life.

      He is a charming person to speak to. He is witty, erudite, has a fantastic political brain but I wouldn’t want my daughter to marry him and I would sooner go into business with a shark.

      In short, I no longer trust him and I am not inclined to vote for someone who cannot or will not stand up to the Council.

  4. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    October 21, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    I’ve added details from the IPSA site to the post.
    I have to say I don’t think £63 for a 1st class return ticket is unreasonable.
    I don’t see why MP’s cant get a rail warrant for free second class travel between their constituency and Westminster as part of the package and if they happen to be a millionaire with an extensive property portfolio and want to travel 1st class then they can pay for it themselves.

    The intriguing part of this story for me is that Huhne mainly goes 1st class while his staff only go 2nd.

    On the one occasion they travel together they both go 2nd class.

Comments are closed.