An MP who criticized Remembrance Day “stunts” asserted that poppies cost money.
News channel has discovered that last year, MPs claimed hundreds of pounds in costs for Remembrance Day wreaths and poppies.
Among them is Conservative MP Chris Loder, who has accused Extinction Rebellion of Remembrance Sunday “for a political stunt” in the past.
According to documents, he requested a reimbursement of £110 that was spent on the Poppy Appeal of the Royal British Legion in the previous year.
Huw Merriman, the transport minister for the Conservative Party, declared that laying a wreath was a “privilege” and claimed costs for the £27.50 he spent on the Poppy Appeal.
Additionally, taxpayers were charged £24 for each of the two poppy wreaths by Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Olney, the party’s Treasury spokesman.
She said to news channel, “I personally attended two Remembrance ceremonies, one in Richmond Town Center and one in Kingston Borough, and I laid wreaths on behalf of my constituents at both.”
Even while it is legal for MPs to deduct costs for wreaths and poppies, the practice has drawn criticism, with one Tory MP calling it “totally wrong.” Labor Party whips cautioned its members in 2020 that it would be “extremely unwise to do so.”
However, records indicate that Janet Daby, the Labour shadow minister, charged £55 for a wreath last year.
She said to news channel last night, “As an MP, I lay a wreath purchased from the Royal British Legion on behalf of my constituents.” This has usually been considered a work-related expense, which is why IPSA has authorized any relevant claims.
“This year, additional rules were made available, and I made the decision to cease requesting reimbursement for wreath purchases prior to receiving feedback. Obviously, I pay for all of my philanthropic contributions.
Furthermore, Allan Dorans of the SNP placed an order with Scotland’s Lady Haig Poppy Factory, which increased his expenses by £37.40.
But the most outrageous accusation came from Conservative backbencher Andy Carter, who claimed to have charged £165 for a Poppy Appeal bill to the general public.
At least seven members of Parliament claimed a total of £485 for poppies or wreaths around the time of last year’s Remembrance Day.
Another claimant, Ian Levy, made £22.98 in March of last year for a wreath commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War. “A total of 10 wreaths for Remembrance Day 2023 are required, to be laid at various places within Blyth Valley, and these have been privately purchased by new channel.
“MPs’ business costs can be used to claim a Remembrance wreath for parliamentary duties, should they choose to,” stated a representative for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, which is in charge of handling expenditures for members of parliament.
Numerous Members of Parliament have used this throughout the years, billing the public for wreaths, poppies, and other Remembrance Day expenses. After adding a £16.50 wreath to his expenditures in 2009, Boris Johnson was compelled to issue an apology, saying the item had been “mistakenly added.”