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Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Labour Party MP claims expenses to attend a voters funeral.

Mike Wood - Batley & Spen Labour MP.

Labour Party MP for Batley and Spen, Mike Wood has come under-fire for claiming tax-payers money to attend a funeral of a voter. Wood filed a Parliamentary expenses claim for as little as £1.35 to go and `pay his respects`. According to travel travel expenses published online by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Wood has been paid for 11 mileage claims for funerals since 2010. A check on Woods claims also found that he received £1.13 to go to a constituents wedding in Staincliffe in June 2012, £0.90p to go to a Remembrance Parade in Birstall in November 2013 and 45p to visit a charity coffee morning in Scholes Cleckheaton in September 2013.

Wood who lists his interests as walking has often claimed for return journeys of just one mile. In June 2014, Wood left his bike at home and was paid £2.70 for the car journey to Roberttown Cycling Festival. Former Kirklees Councillor, Wood, 68, is an ex Probation Officer. In 1997 he was elected as MP for Batley and Spen and will stand down at this years General Election after 18 years in public office. There is no suggestion that Wood has broken any `rules`. MP`s are entitled to claim for expenses "which are necessary for the performance of their Parliamentary functions". Mileage can be claimed at 45p per mile as recommended by HM Customs and Excise. WQood, whose Constituency office is based in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, also claimed 45p to go to a coffee morning in December 2012 another 45p to attend a Diamond Jubilee celebration in June 2012 and £1.35 for "unveiling a memorial to a local hero".

MP`s earn £67,000  a year  and John O`Connell the spokesman for the Taxpayers Alliance questioned why MP`s should claim so small amount when they earn high salaries, he said "Billing taxpayers for travel costs to attend a funeral is low especially when the amounts are so small, MP`s and their staff must remember that every penny they claim comes out of the pockets of their constituents"

Woods` office declined to comment.

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