“Common Sense” Minister Faces Scrutiny for Claiming Rent Despite Spouse’s Owned Flat

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In a twist of irony, the minister appointed to sniff out government overspending has herself been billing taxpayers tens of thousands for housing expenses, despite her husband, also an MP, possessing a flat just a stone’s throw away.

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Over the last couple of years, Esther McVey has racked up over £30,000 in public funds for renting a London flat, which she shares with her husband Phillip Davies, Shipley’s representative.

Ms. McVey, the MP for Tatton who recently took on the mantle of minister for ‘common sense’, draws an MP’s salary of £86,584, and her new ministerial role in the Cabinet Office adds a hefty sum atop that.

The couple has been expensing their Westminster digs since 2017, The Daily Telegraph and Led By Donkeys’ investigation reveals.

Despite her staunch stance against squandering government funds, Esther McVey is in the spotlight for these very expenses.

The report unveils that Mr. Davies is a landlord to a property in Waterloo, merely a 25-minute stroll away, from which he’s declared over £10,000 yearly earnings.

Davies, with a side income from media engagements over the past years, expressed his willingness to carry on with mortgage claims for his owned flat, “but that option was stripped from me”.

Post-2009’s expenses fiasco, MPs have been barred from reclaiming mortgage expenses, a reform that doesn’t affect the couple’s current claims.

The McVey-Davies financial strategy, while not illegal, prompts questions about the prudent use of public funds, especially given Ms. McVey’s governmental role to combat frivolous expenditure.

Known as Philip Davies MP, Ms. McVey’s husband.

Ms. McVey, a staunch low-tax advocate and critic of oversized governance, penned in the Daily Mail her aversion to seeing “your hard-earned cash frittered away on needless public spending”.

Her Cabinet Office remit involves pushing government agendas and broadcasting Downing Street’s narratives.

Her tenure as the boss of the Department for Work and Pensions, which lasted from January to November 2018, was also marked by her earnings from media contributions.

This February, she informed GB News of her letters to independent agencies, pressing for more frugal expenditure.

“We’re on a mission to root out any waste… It’s not okay to ask for more taxpayers’ money without first ensuring you’re not squandering it,” she articulated.

Mr. Davies defended his position to Led By Donkeys, stating, “If owning the flat meant zero expenses for me, then sure, I’d stay there. But that’s not my reality.

“Workplaces usually foot the bill for workers’ accommodation when away from home, and it’s baffling… [to you]… that this might not be the norm. This could restrict Parliament to only the affluent,” he argued.

Efforts to reach Ms. McVey for her inputs were made.

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