Contingency Funding for MPs’ Offices During this Covid-19 Pandemic

Thank you for contacting me with regard to the news story about contingency funding for MPs’ offices during this Covid-19 Pandemic.

This is a Covid-19 contingency budget to allow MPs to support our constituents during this crisis through mechanisms like communicating public information, such as in local newspapers, to inform people how to keep themselves safe and how to access support. The budget is available and monies only used when claimed against with justification and receipts. This emergency budget was instigated by IPSA (The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority), which is completely independent of MPs. Only the amounts claimed for purposes such as above are used and so the story that MPs are benefiting personally to the tune of £10,000 is completely wrong.

I hope this clarifies the situation for you. I would also refer you the statement that has been made on this issue by the Speaker of the House of Commons:

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, said: "It is wrong to characterise this extra £10,000 allocated by IPSA as MPs giving themselves additional funds. On the contrary, this money is being used to enable MPs' staff to set up home working to support distressed constituents at a time of crisis. Many MPs have seen their casework soar as a direct result of coronavirus.

“Enabling staff to work remotely is the best and the safest way for them - and the constituents they are in contact with - to communicate and work together during these difficult times. The additional budget is there to draw down on if it is needed and required - and it will have to be accounted for in the usual way."

Meanwhile, I and my team are working hard to help constituents through this crisis, from helping those stranded abroad, to helping vulnerable people receive support at this worrying time.

Best wishes
Neil