The new allowance rules prevent MPs who live within an hour’s commute of Westminster from claiming the now infamous second home allowance.

Some MPs are also owed money by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority due to glitches in the system.

About 130 MPs are now prevented from claiming the second home allowance of £19,900 a year, which includes all London MPs. They are instead eligible for a £3,760 a year London Area Living Allowance. So it’s now official, 130 of our MPs are living in LALA land.

As an example, one MP said they would not get home until 1 am and then have to be back by 8 am.


This has led some MPs to sneak a sleeping bag or bedding into the Palace of Westminster so they can quietly bed down for the night in their office (Big Ben bongs allowing, some of these MPs have complained it keeps them awake at night). Otherwise they would be seriously out of pocket if forced to book into a hotel. Or maybe fast lose any friends they do have in the area by imposing too much.

Those MPs using Westminster as a glorified B&B do not want to reveal themselves for fear of the frowning attentions of the estates managers.

Watching some of their childish behaviour during PMQs one can imagine them indulging in pyjama parties, midnight feasts and pillow fights around those hallowed halls.

But this misses the real point. MPs need to change their working practices. They also need to change their working timetable and holiday structure.

This is the era of the Human Rights Act and technology.

If MPs cannot stand up for themselves and enforce reasonable working hours that makes sure well prepared and alert people properly  represent us and vote for us then what hope do the rest of us have?

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