Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, claimed £240 in taxpayer-funded expenses to buy an Apple iPhone for her husband according the latest Daily Telegraph revelation highlighting MPs' expenses.
According to the report, Jacqui Smith bought the phone for her husband Richard Tinmeny, who manages her Redditch constituency office, billing taxpayers for 90 per cent of the cost of the phone, on the basis that 90 per cent of the calls made would be work related.
The Daily Telegraph reports that in a letter sent to the Commons fees office in January 2008, Jacqui Smith wrote:
"Until now I have not claimed for the use of my mobile phone, nor that of Richard Timney. I should like to claim for both phones from now on and backdate the claim to the start of this financial year. I would estimate that 90 per cent of the costs are related to my work as an MP. I hope that this estimation is acceptable."
According to the the Telegraph, Jacqui Smith submitted a receipt from a Redditch shop, which showed she had paid £268 for the iPhone with an 18-month contract, claiming back £242.10. A source close to the MP and her husband told the newspaper that no monthly bills had been claimed for, adding the cost of the iPhone was comparable with the cost of a BlackBerry phone.
The traditionally Tory supporting newspaper has spent much of the last few weeks exposing MPs' expenses claims particularly Labour MPs', creating public outrage in the process.
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