HARROW'S MPs have laid bare thousands of pounds they should not have claimed in expenses.
Gareth Thomas (Lab/Harrow West) says he is not dishonest but made a mistake when he submitted two identical claims for the same £1,000 mortgage payment on his North Harrow semi-detached house, worth £309,000 when it was bought in 2002.
He has since paid the money back, along with around £200 he should not have claimed for in council tax and £1,600 worth of gardening expenses over five years.
Mr Thomas said: “I regret the errors that I've made in terms of the claims that were paid out. I wish I'd spotted them earlier but as soon as I did spot them I paid the money back.”
Tony McNulty (Lab/Harrow East) came under fire in March for claiming £60,000 on a second home in Kenton, which his parents live in.
This week he admitted claiming £2,600 of interest on the mortgage over four years, which he is not supposed to do.
He also over-claimed on council tax by £455 over the same period but said both were a mistake and has paid the money back.
Mr McNulty said: “All three party leaders are talking about the expenses system and wide reform of Parliament. Politics is learning its lesson from this.”
The legitimacy of his claim on the principle mortgage is being investigated by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, and a complaint has been made to the police.
Today's revelations came after the Daily Telegraph exposed £1,000 Mr Thomas claimed in one year for an accountant, who he says he needed to make sure his “tax affairs as an MP were in order”.
He says on two occasions the accountant spotted that he was not paying enough council tax, allowing him to pay £660 more than he would otherwise have done.
He said he will continue employing the accountant and claiming the money on expenses.
Mr Thomas said: “I think in my public life I have got a responsibility to make sure I pay the right amount of tax.
“I have used an accountant to make sure my affairs as a constituency MP were in order to that extent. I have had to pay more tax on some occasions and paid too much tax on others.”
He stopped claiming the additional cost allowance, expenses for second homes, in October, and says he wanted to bare more of the cost himself after being promoted to minister of state for trade, development and consumer affairs.
Mr Thomas made his expenses from 2004 up to the tax year 2007 to 2008 available to the Harrow Times as well as making the frank admissions about mistakes in his 2008 to 2009 claims.
He said he wanted to be “clear about the mistakes and errors” he has made and has been knocking on residents' doors to talk to them about the expenses scandal.
He says he was honest to his constituents and told some about his mistakes.
He will be publishing his legitimate claims on his website shortly, including the cost of hiring a cleaner once a week, £1,910 to redecorate a room at the back of the house and £2,773 to repair cracks in the outside walls.
Mr McNulty intends to publish his expenses online as well, but said the move will take him longer.
He hopes to publish them by June 13.