The ArgusCrawley MP banned from sleeping in her office (From The Argus)

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Crawley MP banned from sleeping in her office

The Argus: Crawley MP banned from sleeping in her office Crawley MP banned from sleeping in her office

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.”

Comments (6)

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12:39pm Thu 18 Jun 09

Dizd says...

I do find this funny. If she wants to save the taxpayer money why doesn't she pay the fare for the 40 minute journey from her salary?

security word: bank-lady - I kid you not
I do find this funny. If she wants to save the taxpayer money why doesn't she pay the fare for the 40 minute journey from her salary? security word: bank-lady - I kid you not Dizd
  • Score: 0

1:17pm Thu 18 Jun 09

Strugg Lynn says...

40 Minute commute - poor luv. Fares are expensive though but she can claim it back - most regular commuters can't. Stop being a martyr Ms Moffatt & get on with your job instead of wingeing to the papers!!
40 Minute commute - poor luv. Fares are expensive though but she can claim it back - most regular commuters can't. Stop being a martyr Ms Moffatt & get on with your job instead of wingeing to the papers!! Strugg Lynn
  • Score: 0

1:40pm Thu 18 Jun 09

Alison Smith says...

Exactly, everyone else has to pay to get to work.
Exactly, everyone else has to pay to get to work. Alison Smith
  • Score: 0

3:21pm Thu 18 Jun 09

Andy R says...

Does Laura Moffatt really think we care?

No-one asked her to sleep in her office and the Commons authorities are quite right to say she cannot do it. A stupid piece of gimmickry in the first place and she has now made herself look even more ridiculous by moaning to the press.

If the average NuLab MP is this dim I guess we shouldn't be surprised that Bliar managed to slip an illegal war based on a pack of lies past them quite easily.
Does Laura Moffatt really think we care? No-one asked her to sleep in her office and the Commons authorities are quite right to say she cannot do it. A stupid piece of gimmickry in the first place and she has now made herself look even more ridiculous by moaning to the press. If the average NuLab MP is this dim I guess we shouldn't be surprised that Bliar managed to slip an illegal war based on a pack of lies past them quite easily. Andy R
  • Score: 0

7:50pm Thu 18 Jun 09

stickman says...

Can't win can you Laura? Ask yourself - is it worth it? Don't worry, the Tories will have the problem soon.
Can't win can you Laura? Ask yourself - is it worth it? Don't worry, the Tories will have the problem soon. stickman
  • Score: 0

10:26am Mon 22 Jun 09

BBBrighton says...

just commute! Crawley is advertised nationally as a 'commuter town' trains are regular (if expensive) but she gets it all for free so who cares. An annual ticket from Crawley would be much better cheaper than a london flat anyway plus she will be able to spend more time in her constituency. Silly MPs
just commute! Crawley is advertised nationally as a 'commuter town' trains are regular (if expensive) but she gets it all for free so who cares. An annual ticket from Crawley would be much better cheaper than a london flat anyway plus she will be able to spend more time in her constituency. Silly MPs BBBrighton
  • Score: 0

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