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Burnham For Mayor

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Following recent press reports, these are the facts about my flat situation:

 1. In 2006, I bought a flat in Kennington, taking out a second mortgage. This enabled me to move out of a rented flat and reduce my accommodation claims by around £400 per month.

 2. Under this arrangement, I paid the monthly mortgage repayments but could make a claim for the mortgage interest.

 3. After the 2010 Election, IPSA changed the rules to stop MPs claiming for mortgage interest. I wanted to stay at my flat but I could no longer afford to do so and was forced to leave by August 2012.

 4. I decided to stay at my flat for as long as I possibly could, not least to minimise my expenses claims.

5. In June this year, I moved to an unfurnished, rented flat in Kennington. I now claim accommodation expenses on this new property alone. I make no claim in respect of the old flat.

 6. However, all this has left me in the unusual situation of having a flat in London on which I have a mortgage to pay but where I am unable to live. I don't want to sell it so have had to rent it out. The rent I receive covers the mortgage, the agents' management fee and on-going maintenance costs.

7. I do not rent to, or from, another Member of Parliament.

8. IPSA is right to prevent MPs making capital gains on properties with the help of the taxpayer. I support rules to stop this. However, I believe they could have been introduced without asking MPs to move to more expensive rented accommodation.

9. If the rules changed again to reflect this, I would move back to my old flat at the earliest opportunity.