Wakefield MP Mary Creagh under fire over expenses claim for energy bills

MP Mary Creagh
MP Mary Creagh

A city MP has been criticised by fuel poverty campaigners for claiming more then £2,000 on expenses for gas and electricity.

In September, the Express revealed that Wakefield Labour MP Mary Creagh’s expenses claims for 2012/13 showed she received £2,182 to cover the cost of energy bills.

Claiming for energy costs is not against parliamentary rules, but MPs have come under fire for taking the money when households are struggling to pay their bills.

Ms Creagh said: “Every MP has their expenses independently checked so that people can have confidence in the new expenses system.

“My claims are transparent, published and within the rules.”

MPs who receive the cash have come under fire from campaign group Fuel Poverty Action.

A spokeswoman for the group said: “We feel it is inappropriate for MPs to claim this while everyone else is having to pay.”

The group has also accused MPs and successive governments of failing to prevent price rises after five of the UK’s six main energy companies announced increases in bills averaging more than eight per cent.

On Tuesday, EDF Energy became the latest provider to increase bills, by an average of 3.9 per cent.

The Fuel Poverty Action.spokeswoman said: “The solution is not choosing between the big six energy providers and the 900 tariffs we are forced to choose from. It is a democratically controlled public energy system where nobody is cut off and everyone can access affordable and sustainable green energy.

“The obstacles to this are political and no MPs are really reflecting what people want, which is a publicly-owned energy system.”

Martin Brammer said on the Express Facebook page: “Mary represents a constituency that’s not generally wealthy and she is clearly out of touch with the electorate she is supposed to represent.

Another Facebook user, Matt Bradley, wrote: “I don’t necessarily have a problem with MPs having a Westminster business fuel allowance, but £2,182 is an awful lot of money for heating.”

In September, Labour leader Ed Miliband announced plans for a 20-month energy price freeze from May 2015 should his party win the next general election.