Bassetlaw: John Mann defends staff expenses

Bassetlaw residents have joined MP John Mann in submitting their concerns regarding the proposed cuts to local ambulance stations
Bassetlaw residents have joined MP John Mann in submitting their concerns regarding the proposed cuts to local ambulance stations

Bassetlaw MP John Mann has both hit out at MPs continuing to claim record expenses, and faced criticism for the staffing of his own office.

Nationally, expenses for the 2012-13 financial year were up by £8 million on the previous 12 month, with all but £300,000 of that increase coming in staffing costs due to a change in the rules.

However, Mr Mann said there were still too many MPs who were taking advantage of the expenses system.

He added: “Many MPs complain about the new system under IPSA but I accept what they say and work within their rules.”

“My view has always been that everything MPs do must be transparent.”

“Hence I was the very first MP to put details of my expenses online, for many years before the expenses scandal.”

“I argued for an independent body to set MPs’ pay and expenses, which now happens.”

However, the Bassetlaw MP was also forced to defend his own staff, after a number of national newspapers expressed concern that around one in four Parliamentarians employs either a spouse or other family member in their office.

Mr Mann’s wife, Bassetlaw Councillor Jo White, is employed by her husband as part of his staff team.

In response Mr Mann said: “Local residents get an excellent service from all the five staff I employ and from the specialism that they have.”

“As an example Joanna White won over £2 million back for former miners and provided technical advice on this to many other MPs around this area and nationwide.”