Guernsey Press

Sunak urged to sack minister ordered to pay back £1,367 after expenses breach

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority found Paul Maynard had used a state-of-the-art printer for campaigning purposes.


Prime Minister Rishi Sunak faced calls to sack minister Paul Maynard after he broke expenses rules by using a taxpayer-funded printer to produce “overtly political” material for the Tories.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) said the pensions minister should repay £1,367 after he used a state-of-the-art device for campaigning purposes.

It also found he had under-reported use of his constituency office by his local Conservative Party association.

Paul Maynard, right, appearing on stage with then-chancellor Rishi Sunak
Paul Maynard, right, appeared on stage with then-chancellor Rishi Sunak (Peter Byrne/PA)

Labour said the Prime Minister should “remove” Mr Maynard from his government role.

The Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP previously told the Sunday Times, which broke the story, that he believed he had the proper arrangements in place for using the resources but would abide by any Ipsa findings.

A report by Ipsa’s compliance officer published on Thursday said: “The MP reasonably believed he had put in place an agreement with Ipsa to allow for the occasional use of his constituency office for non-parliamentary purposes and made regular payments to Ipsa for this purpose.

“However, the compliance officer considers the frequent use of Ipsa-funded office equipment such as the Riso printer went beyond the bounds of this agreement, even if some of the costs of use were covered by the local Conservative Association.

“In addition, it is reasonable to assume the constituency office was used for storage and preparation of party-political material at various times which are not accurately reflected in the log of use maintained by the MP’s office.”

It added: “On the assumption, the Riso (printer) has been used 10% of the time for non-parliamentary purposes it would be appropriate for the MP to reimburse Ipsa the sum of £1,257.28.

“In recognition of the possibility of inaccurately logged usage of the constituency office for party-political activity, the MP has also agreed to an additional repayment of £110.”

“I am grateful to the compliance officer for his time in considering this matter,” the MP said.

“I welcome his report, which makes no direct criticism of me or of my office, and accept the findings.

“I have implemented his recommendations and already reimbursed Ipsa the sum recommended.

“I also agree with Ipsa that despite our best intentions, navigating the dual use of a constituency office can, at times, be inherently complicated. I have now ceased this arrangement.”

But Labour Party chairwoman Anneliese Dodds said: “Rishi Sunak promised professionalism, integrity and accountability at all levels. Since he took office we’ve seen bullying scandals, lobbying scandals and a prominent donor using vile racist and misogynistic language.

“Rishi Sunak should remove Paul Maynard as a minister, but the country also urgently needs change. We need a general election.”

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