Milton Keynes MPs Mark Lancaster and Iain Stewart claim £1.3 million in expenses

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Milton Keynes’ two MPs have claimed more than £1.3m between them in expenses over the past three years, the Milton Keynes Citizen can reveal.

More than £1 million of this comes under the category of “staffing expenses” for the duo, who share the same office on Linford Wood.

They also claimed a joint total of £130,000 in “office costs” during that time.

But the expense claims do not show Mark Lancaster and Iain Stewart among Parliament’s top spenders.

And the costs of running and staffing their office have been described as “average” by themselves.

Both MPs are given free office space within the House of Commons but run their constituency affairs from the Linford Wood premises.

Each employs their own members of staff to answer phones, deal with letters, appointments and research.

In a joint statement to the Citizen, Mark and Iain said: “An MP’s office comes with similar challenges and pressures as would setting up a small business. We need staff, an office, IT equipment, stationery etc.”

They added: “With two of the largest constituencies in the country, almost 200,000 constituents, we do have a much larger workload than other MPs. We keep our costs down below average. We do that by being cost effective, for example we share an office and are always reviewing what we spend.”

The expense claims also include accommodation costs of £16,817 last year for Mark and £8,250 for Iain. They claimed £2,882 and £4,588 respectively for travel in 2016/17.

The figures, released this week by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, are on top of the MPs’ basic salaries of around £74,000 a year. Mark receives extra for being Minister of State for the Armed Forces.