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MP says claims are not extravagant

PUBLISHED: 09:00 22 May 2009 | UPDATED: 08:13 01 August 2010

WAVENEY MP Bob Blizzard has opened his expenses claims to scrutiny and defended his record, insisting he has not made any "extravagant" claims for luxury items.

WAVENEY MP Bob Blizzard has opened his expenses claims to scrutiny and defended his record, insisting he has not made any “extravagant” claims for luxury items.

He made the move to publish in response to the growing scandal about MPs' expenses.

Mr Blizzard claimed an average of about £1,200-£1,300 a month on the interest for his second home in London, but said he had not “flipped” this with his house in Lowestoft to increase the allowances he could claim.

Figures for the four years from 2004 to 2008 show Mr Blizzard claimed up to or near the maximum expenses allowed for MPs who stay away from their main homes - receiving £23,082 in 2007/08.

Items bought for Mr Blizzard's London flat during the past four years include a washing/drying machine for £363 and furniture totalling £458. This included bedside cabinets for £258 and a chest of drawers at £158.

He claimed £247 on repairs to his boiler and £220 on a long list of household goods, including light bulbs, bed linen, a kettle, mop and bucket, ironing board, door mat and shower curtain. A total of £144 was spent on redecorating the flat.

Mr Blizzard said: “I haven't flipped my home; it's all for the London place. I don't think I have claimed anything that is extravagant. I'm not hiding anything.”

Referring to the single most expensive item - a washer/ drier - Mr Blizzard explained this meant he could do all his laundry at home, rather than paying for clothes to be cleaned elsewhere. He said he bought the machine in Lowestoft and plumbed it in himself to save money.

Mr Blizzard admitted he inadvertently submitted a claim for a £286 insurance payment twice, but repaid the money once he discovered the error. He also revealed how he had missed out on about £2,500 in expenses by failing to claim for some of the service charges payable at the block of flats where he lives.

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