What was Allowed?
MPs were permitted a budget to pay for their accommodation (unless they lived in the Greater London area in which case they could not claim accommodation costs).
The allowance figure was set at the rate of market rent for a one-bedroom flat in Westminster - which is about £20,000 per annum. The MP was not permitted to own a property and claim rent for it.
What I Claimed:
I claimed close to the full amount on accommodation costs.
I rented a small, one bedroom flat in the Westminster area. The rent was paid direct to the Landlord (called the Passion Property Group), and not to me and I have no personal connections to the landlord.
I could not afford to keep two homes and I never claimed anything for my own house in Northampton - but I did claim for the rent and associated costs of the rented London flat.
During the years I was an MP I saved over £4,000 for the taxpayer from underspending my accommodation budget.