BORIS JOHNSON claimed for a Remembrance Day wreath while he was an MP, according to the latest bulletin from the expenses scandal frontline.
The Daily Telegraph reports today that in 2006 Johnson was turned down by the House of Commons Fees office after trying to wangle £16.50 off the taxpayer for the wreath.
Like many other MPs found to have put in strange expenses claims, Johnson puts the wreath-episode down to a “mistake” and says he “happily” paid the £16.50 once made aware of the error.
The Mayor of London defends his housing allowance claims, however, which were right near the maximum allowed.
While MP for Henley on Thames from 2004-08, Johnson claimed £85,299 for mortgage help on a substantial spread with swmming pool in Oxfordshire.
Henley is only about an hour from London, but Johnson argues that he was expected by voters “to have a home in their constituency” though whether they considered such a large country pile necessary for MP work he doesn’t say.
Johnson may find comfort in the fact that his party leader David Cameron is in a similar housing-expenses position. Cameron also has a large Oxfordshire second home, also just over an hour from London, paid for in large part by the taxpayer.
In his defence, Johnson says that “South Oxfordshire is one on the most expensive areas in the UK for property” and pats himself on the back for not claiming for anything else, “not even a bathplug.” Apart from that wreath.