Balls coughs up for dirty office

Ed Balls in his new office. (d26071003)
Ed Balls in his new office. (d26071003)
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FORMER cabinet minister Ed Balls was made to pay over £1,000 to his former landlord for leaving a mess after moving out of offices in Normanton.

Mr Balls eventually agreed to pay £830 for redecoration, the removal of rubbish and furniture he had left at the property on High Street last summer.

The MP was also asked to pay £265 towards the legal fees of landlord Paul Sampson in a small claims battle at Leeds County Court.

Mr Balls had made an initial offer of just £80.

Speaking after the case, Mr Sampson, 48, said: “I am pretty happy with the result.

“It has taken us since last July to get to this stage. It has progressively got better and although today we haven’t got everything we were after it is a lot more than we would have got if it wasn’t for the court action.

“We had to decorate to cover up holes in the walls and scuff marks and there were lots of items of furniture left behind we didn’t want, so that all cost us.”

Mr Balls managed to fight off disputed claims of rent owed to Mr Sampson, paying for a replacement burglar alarm after he had taken one with him and the replacement of a stained carpet.

A spokesman for Ed Balls’ constituency office said: “We are very pleased with the outcome of today’s case.

“We have said all along that there should be no payment of taxpayers’ money that is not justified, which is why we contested Mr Sampson’s original claim for £7,739.

“Based upon his obligations in the lease Mr Balls offered to pay £983, primarily for redecoration costs. The court has in fact awarded him less than his offer – £830 plus costs.

“We are also pleased that the court has confirmed that Mr Sampson will have to pay back £1,000 in overpaid rent to the taxpayer within the next 14 days, as we have been asking him to do for some time.

“It is a pity that this matter had to come to the court, but it was important to protect the taxpayer from unjustified claims, as well as to ensure the overpaid rent was returned.”