Mark Simmonds, the former Africa minister who is to quit as an MP because he claims £27,000 expenses is not enough to rent a second home for his family, voted in favour of the bedroom tax and against publishing a report on why more people are using food banks.{jcomments on}

It has also been revealed that Simmonds made a profit of over half a million pounds selling his taxpayer funded London home and also claimed over £170,000 in expenses last year.

According to the Telegraph, the Boston and Skegness MP bought a large house in Putney just after being elected in 2001, although his family continued to live in his constituency. For eight years, until the rules were changed, he claimed over £2,000 a month in mortgage interest from the state before selling the house for a profit of £537,000.

The Guardian has revealed that , last year, Simmonds was voted the most expensive MP in Lincolnshire after claiming over £173,000 in expenses.

As well as a salary of £89,435 Simmonds also employs his wife as his office manage for a further £25,000 of taxpayers cash.

In addition, Simmonds was paid £50,000 a year by a private health company to act as an adviser – a fact he forgot to declare when speaking in favour of privatising parts of the NHS.

However, whilst insisting that the state ought to pay for his family to have a second home Westminster, Simmonds voted in favour of the bedroom tax, telling his local paper:

‘ . . . it is unacceptable for the government to subsidise people to live in accommodation that is too big for their actual needs . . . Furthermore I believe that it would undermine the principles of the welfare state if benefits provide a level of support which is above what average families have.’

Simmonds also voted in favour of keeping a government report into why so many people are being forced to use food banks secret and against increasing contributory employment and support allowance from 365 days to a minimum of 730 days.


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