A cohort of 60 MPs spent £70,000 on iPads, iPhones and laptops as the election loomed. They may not have broken any rules, but the spree meant expenses watchdog Ipsa (the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority) wrote to politicians to express concern.
There is a deadline on such purchases six months before an election, and, with many MPs either standing down or facing doubtful re-election, Ipsa asked for guarantees that the products would be used for parliamentary duties only.
It also advised MPs who were defeated or who stood down to donate the devices to charity after 7 May. Ipsa is, however, powerless to enforce this recommendation, but it will now consider tightening the rules regarding MPs who either stand down or fail to be re-elected.
Peter Hain, the former Labour secretary for England and Wales and shadow secretary for the same, claimed £1,907.90 for an iPad, iPhone, and PC, reportedly saying they were bought to replace broken devices. There is no suggestion of wrongdoing by Hain.
An Ipsa spokesman said:
Having looked into these claims, we are satisfied that they are within the rules.
This covers purchases made during September 2014, as the restrictions on capital purchases began on 30 September 2014.
The total value of the purchases for all MPs in September amounts to £71,216.48. We have issued guidance to MPs that they should transfer these items to a successor, another MP, or donate the equipment to charity.