MPs criticise rules permitting them to claim Christmas party costs from the taxpayer.

MPs criticise rules permitting them to claim Christmas party costs from the taxpayer.

The watchdog responsible for MPs’ expenses has been criticised for being “naive” and “irresponsible” by allowing claims for Christmas parties.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) has told MPs for the first time they can expense the cost of food and drink for Christmas staff parties to taxpayers, although alcohol will not be covered.

Shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds suggested the expenses watchdog had been a “little bit naive” putting out such guidance.

The guidance wasn’t made by MPs and yet we will be pilloried for it He told Times Radio: “People have not been asking for this. I don’t think anyone will use it. People will not have been asking for it.”

Labour frontbencher Jess Phillips – in a post on Twitter retweeted by Foreign Secretary James Cleverly – said Ipsa had been “irresponsible”.

“Just want to say no one asked for this, no one I know will use it” she said.

“The guidance wasn’t made by MPs and yet we will be pilloried for it. I think it’s really irresponsible to issue this guidance as if MPs have been clamouring for it when I’ve literally never heard anyone do that.”

Former Brexit secretary David Davis said the expenses watchdog had “missed the mood of the age”.

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Source: MPs criticise rules allowing them to claim expenses for Christmas parties

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