An MP who saved thousands of pounds of taxpayers money by sleeping on a camp bed in her House of Commons office has been told to “move out”.
Laura Moffatt, Labour MP for Crawley, took the unusual step after giving up her London flat, claiming her second home allowance “did not sit comfortably with me”
But now the director general of the Department of Facilities at the House of Commons has told the MP she can no longer sleep in her office.
Mrs Moffatt said: “I was contacted by the House of Commons shortly after the articles I have had in the press about it, and they said you’re not to sleep in your office again.
“I’m not really sure why not or if there is anything I can do about it.”
The Argus revealed the unusual sleeping habits last month during the furore over MPs’ expenses.
The ban will force the MP, who has a majority of just 37, to stay in a hotel or face a 40 minute commute to her Westminster office.
A spokesman for the House of Commons said: “The offices at the House of Commons are not equipped in the same way as sleeping accommodation in terms of fire safety.
“For that reason it is strongly recommended that members do not stay overnight in their offices.
“This is a very strong recommendation and all members are expected to abide by it.”
Mrs Moffatt published full details of her expense claims during a 12-month period on her website.
For most of 2007/08, the MP kept a London flat at taxpayers expense claiming more than £1,300 a month in rent.
However, in February 2008, amid growing public disquiet about MPs expenses, she wrote a note to the Fees Office informing officials she had given up it up.
Mrs Moffat said her only claim under the additional costs allowance for 2008-09 would be just £38 – for an outstanding electricity bill on her former flat.
She said: “I have always believed it is wrong for public servants to make money out of the public purse and I do not defend anyone who does so.
“I completely sympathise with the anger felt by many in the UK about the kinds of things some MPs have claimed for.”