A Freedom of Information request by a British newspaper has revealed that Commons Speaker John Bercow spent £100,000 on travel expenses in just three years, writes Rachael Goldwater.
The Daily Mail reports that the Speaker racked up the bill after jetting off to almost 20 countries, including trips to have his portrait painted.
One widely-cited example of the extravagance was his decision to use an official limousine to take him just one mile up the road. In other instance, the taxpayer footed the bill for his taxi to attend premiere of House of Cards.
Business class flights for Bercow and aides to fly to Canada and India cost over £11,000 and £6,000 respectively.
As details of the MP for Buckingham’s expenses claims emerged, anger grew among MPs currently mired in economic misery and austerity measures.
Tory MP Ian Liddell-Grainger said: “Given that he seems to be anti-MPs, it is a little rich to discover that he is spending thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money. A lot of government ministers have given up cars. He shouldn’t be allowed to go around the world as an ambassador.”
Conservative MP Rob Wilson said: “The Speaker has a role in representing parliament but he shouldn’t use this an excuse to go flying around the world at the taxpayers’ expense. In such difficult economic times this looks, to the public, quite extravagant. That is not good for Parliament’s reputation, whatever the motive for the visits.”