GP returns his MP expenses

A GP who became an MP claimed more than £55,000 on expenses for a London flat only 15 miles from his constituency home.

Dr Howard Stoate, the Labour MP for Dartford in Kent, claimed £55,836 for the years 2004 to 2008, while having no rent or mortgage to pay.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Dr Stoate was a DIY enthusiast who claimed over £1,000 for purchases at B&Q, and £124 for ‘household items’ at a market stall for which he had been unable to provide receipts.

Dr Stoate has since said that he will no longer claim second home allowances and has returned his entire claim for the last financial year of some £11,000.

He entered Parliament in 1997, chairs various all-party groups on health and primary care, and is a member of the health select committee.

Meanwhile former health secretary Patricia Hewitt has revealed that she will stand down as an MP at the next election to spend more time with her family. She said the decision had nothing to do with the expenses scandal at Westminster.

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