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Alistair "Badger" Darling - as sleaze laden as the rest.

Alistair Darling, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, claimed parliamentary expenses for a flat that he let to tenants while also claiming living allowances for his grace and favour home in Downing Street.

In July 2007, Mr Darling submitted a £1,004 claim for a service charge on his south London flat 10 days after he became Chancellor. It covered the six-month period to the end of December 2007.

At the time, Mr Darling moved into Downing Street and began to claim second home allowances for his grace-and-favour apartments, meaning that costs relating to two of the Chancellor's homes were being met by the taxpayer. That would appear to contravene parliamentary rules that allow MPs to claim on only one property at a time. He was also receiving rent for his flat from at least September 2007.

Mr Darling bought the flat - near the Oval cricket ground in south London - for £226,000 in 2005 and went on to claim £2,260 in stamp duty and £6,000 on furnishings and carpets. He is now thought to make at least £5,000 per year from the rent after mortgage costs are deducted. Mr Darling's expenses file also shows that he claimed for tax advice relating to the rental of the flat.

It has already been disclosed that Mr Darling is a "serial flipper" who has designated four properties as his second home in four years. He has also employed an accountant at taxpayers' expense to complete his self-assessment forms.


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