THE total amount claimed by Barrow MP Simon Fell in expenses last year has been revealed.

Mr Fell's office claimed £57,624.80 from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023 for 523 items. 

Parliament publishes expenses publicly each year so that constituents can hold their MP to account over how much money is being spent to run their office and travel costs. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority regulates and administers MPs' business expenses and staffing costs. 

His travel claims were £17,695.45 - the Barrow and Furness constituency is 225 miles from parliament. He also claimed £11,056.47 in accommodation fees. 

In late April 2022 Mr Fell put £2,500 into pooled staffing services for the Northern Research Group, and £3,088 into the Policy Research Unit.

These are groups MPs can pool money into, which then researches for all members to support their parliamentary duties.

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Mr Fell also spent £1,456.27 in council tax, £2,160 in copywriting and communications support and £1,310.40 on the phone system and lease. In November 2022 his office spent £216 on a Barrow Raiders advert and local sponsorship. 

The amount he claimed for 2022-23 is significantly less than in previous years, but it was above the total average for MPs of £46,830.52. In March 2020-21, he claimed £189,356.21.

Mr Fell said: "The vast majority of these business costs are the salaries of my team of staff who help constituents on a wide range of fronts, from constituency surgeries to working with them on individual cases and supporting me in going on to raise those cases in Parliament and with ministers. 

"Last year alone they worked on 6,900 cases. The remainder goes on renting our office on Cavendish Street in Barrow, paying for consumables like paper for letters and ink cartridges, travel and keeping the lights on. This is public money so I take my responsibility when using it very seriously indeed."

The neighbouring South Lakes MP Tim Farron also claimed slightly above the average at £47,970.80. 

Like Mr Fell, Mr Farron also said that one of his biggest expenditures is on staffing, which allows him to do casework for constituents. 

He said: "These expenses are all essential to me being able to represent Westmorland down in Westminster on the issues that matter to local people."