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18 Jan, 2018 10:33

‘No morality, no empathy’ - Twitter fury at MP after her shocking expenses claim

‘No morality, no empathy’ - Twitter fury at MP after her shocking expenses claim

British MP Harriett Baldwin is facing calls to stand down, having made a charitable donation to a hospice which she then attempted to claim back on her expenses.

The Tory MP for West Worcestershire has come under fire after trying to claw back a £50 gift to St Richard’s Hospice on the taxpayer’s tab.

Baldwin was made Minister of State for Africa in Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet reshuffle last week, but is already facing calls to step away from the post.

The scandal involves a £50 ticket to an award ceremony at the Worcester-based hospice, a freedom of information request shows. The claim was rejected by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.

Samantha Charles, Baldwin’s Labour rival in Worcestershire, said: “It seems highly irregular for an MP to make a donation on a visit and then claim back that donation on expenses.

“Harriet Baldwin should immediately clarify why she felt it appropriate to claim back the donation she made to the hospice at the expense of the taxpayer.

“We’ve all heard that charity starts at home and you have to look after number one, but in this instance it seems that Harriet Baldwin has taken this to the extreme.”

Baldwin, 57, was first elected in 2010. Since then she has claimed a huge £1.1 million in expenses, including 60 payments of under £2, one of which was 45p for a one-mile car journey.

In a statement, the MP said: “In 2013, I attended an event as the local MP for which there was a ticket charge. The claim was rejected by the independent body responsible for verifying expense claims.

“I have every confidence in IPSA and the job it does delivering transparency to the way Members of Parliament carry out their duties. I make many donations to local charities but of course they are made from my own resources.”

Twitter users were horrified by the claim, especially given the minister’s bumper pay packet. One calling for an investigation into the matter. 

One user slammed Baldwin's history of expenses, using the hastag "#NastyParty".

While another asked: "who votes for these people???."

An outraged tweeter wrote: “I’d never heard of Harriet Baldwin until today – is there no end to the shame of these people?”

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