BARROW's MP has been criticised after his staff claimed taxpayers' cash for journeys less than a mile long.

Staff working for Simon Fell have claimed nearly £5,000 in travel expenses since February last year - including 18p for a car journey estimated to be around 600 metres.

The claim in question related to a journey within the constituency in November 2021.

Other travel-related claims for 32p and 45p around the same time.

Mr Fell stressed the short journeys claimed for had been part of longer excursions.

Under official rules MPs and their staff are allowed to claim 45p a mile for business travel by car for the first 10,000 miles and 25p per mile thereafter.

Mr Fell claimed a total of £191,720.02 in expenses between February 2021 and March 2022, figures show.

He stressed expenses claimed helped him and his staff serve constituents.

"All of these business costs are related to the running of my parliamentary office - not a penny goes into anyone's pocket," the Conservative MP said.

"Over 70 per cent of these costs equate to the salaries of my team of six staff who work from Barrow on behalf of my constituents, alongside the cost of renting and running an office."

Explaining the 18p claim, he said 'a member of staff itemised a single journey into its component parts when supporting a local meeting, rather than submitting a single claim'.

According to data, car travel claims for £3.46, £1.40 and £4.95 were made on the same day as the one for 18p.

Barrow's Labour party branch criticised Mr Fell over the expense claims.

A spokesman said: "Mr Fell thinks it's okay to claim 45 pence of taxpayers' money on a journey as short as one mile.

"Whilst this may seem like a small amount 45 pence could provide a family who is already struggling to pay for a meal."