Former East Dunbartonshire MP Jo Swinson among top ten highest claimants last year

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Former East Dunbartonshire MP Jo Swinson was among the top ten MPs claiming the highest amount of expenses last year.

Lib Dem Ms Swinson, who was defeated at the general election, had expenses amounting to more than £193,000, according to new figures.

The former MP said the “significantly higher than usual amount” was because she had to provide cover for three members of staff who were on maternity leave.

She added that “all other budgets were underspent.”

The former Business and Equalities minister came out third from 650 MPs in the UK for 2014-2015.

The total expenses bill rose by 1.6 per cent to nearly £106 million last year, the figures released by ISPA, the parliamentary expenses body revealed.

The totals include staffing costs, office costs, travel and accommodation while in London.

Ms Swinson said her staffing costs had risen significantly as three members of staff had been on maternity leave.

She added all other budgets were “underspent as usual” and added she was proud of the

She said: “Last year my staffing costs were significantly higher than usual due to the need to provide cover for three members of staff who were on maternity leave.

“All other budgets were underspent as usual. I’m proud of the service my excellent team of staff helped me provide to my constituents.”