Lembit wins MPs’ expenses appeal, is now owed £40

by Stephen Tall on February 4, 2010

Last week it was Lib Dem MP Jeremy Browne has won his appeal against repaying £18,000 of expenses. Now fellow Lib Dem Lembit Opik has also had his appeal against repaying hundreds of pounds in parliamentary expenses allowed by Sir Paul Kennedy, the judge brought in to arbitrate on disputed claims. The BBC reports:

Montgomeryshire MP Lembit Opik was ordered to pay back £900 he claimed for a mobile phone bill. Sir Thomas Legg, the retired civil servant auditing MPs’ expenses, said the Liberal Democrat MP should not have been able to claim for the phone bill. But Mr Opik won an appeal against the ruling.

Intriguingly, this leaves the taxpayer in debt to Lembit:

The MP, one of almost 80 MPs to challenge Sir Thomas, has actually repaid £195 in total, so is now technically owed £40 by the Commons authorities.

Now there’s an ethical dilemma for an MP just months away from seeking re-election.

Menawhile, here’s a brief clip of Lib Dem MP Norman Baker talking about the publication of Sir Thomas’s report.

(Hat-tip: PoliticsHome).