Watchdog lost my expenses’ receipts – Ipswich MP Ben Gummer

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer.

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer.

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer has blamed lost paperwork at the official parliamentary watchdog for the suspension of his official expenses card earlier this year.

Mr Gummer was one of 19 MPs to have their card suspended after failing to produce receipts to back up expenses claims – in his case the amount came to £1,290.07.

He said: “They lost my receipts. We have to send in receipts for money we spend on these cards by post, and somewhere along the line they got lost. It’s actually the second time this has happened to me – there was another occasion a few years ago.

“They were for rail journeys between Ipswich and London. As you can imagine I spend quite a lot on such journeys. I contacted Abellio, they produced duplicate receipts and they were accepted by IPSA (Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority) – and my card’s suspension was lifted.”

Mr Gummer said he supported IPSA’s work, but did not understand why it was necessary to produce paper receipts for every element of spending.

He said: “I use the card to buy rail tickets from Ipswich to London. It quite clearly says on the statement that’s what I’ve used them for. I don’t know why IPSA also need me to send paper copies of receipts – so they can get lost!

“But it was all quickly sorted out.”

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Other MPs who had their cards suspended for a time earlier this year included Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith and his shadow, Rachel Reeves.