Sir Michael Lord: Over �17k for food

SIR Michael Lord claimed more than �17,000 for food over four years and nearly �5,000 for grass cutting at his Suffolk home, his expenses reveal.

Jonathan Barnes

SIR Michael Lord claimed more than �17,000 for food over four years and nearly �5,000 for grass cutting at his Suffolk home, his expenses reveal.

The Conservative MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich regularly claimed the maximum �400 per month for food - including months when Parliament was not sitting.

The Fees Office reduced his overall expenses payments in April and May 2005 for claims made during the General Election period.


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Sir Michael, who is campaigning to become the next Speaker of the Commons, claimed thousands of pounds for gardening at his second home over the four years.

They include bills of up to �360 per month for grass cutting, strimming and hedge trimming. He claimed �115 for his lawns to be cut in December 2007.

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His expenses show that he claimed more than �1,500 for tree felling and, in February and March 2006, spent �132 on 'clearing away leaves'.

The claim for March 2005 includes �650 for 'removing a dangerous tree', while in November of that year he asked for �700 for 'tree work' and he claimed �320 in August 2006 for work including 'felling three trees'.

In June 2005, his �250 gardening expenses claim included �60 for weeding and spraying 'the grand drive'.

Sir Michael, who has been an MP since 1983 and earns �99,114 in his role as Deputy Speaker, is listed as an arboricultural consultant (tree expert) on the Conservative Party website.

He used to lecture on ancient and historic trees and is a fellow and past president on the Arboricultural Association.

The expenses also reveal Sir Michael claimed more than �6,000 for fuel oil for his second home.

In October 2004, he submitted a claim for 're-carpetting' for �1,605.

In March 2006, he claimed �600 as a 'contribution' towards replacing a dining table and chairs, opting for a Cape Cod 'dining package'.

In July 2006, he submitted a claim for �1,611 for repairs to a utility room and claimed a further �3,221 for a string of house repairs in October.

In August and September 2006, he claimed �2,789 for a new bathroom suite and a further �2,046 to have it fitted.

Sir Michael was not available for comment last night.

EXPENSES CLAIMS FROM 2004-5 to 2007-8

Additional costs allowance (second home costs): �87,119

Incidental expenses provision/staff allowance: �63,268

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