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Derek Conway - £160 for a pigskin wallet from the Smythson luxury goods store on Bond Street.

Derek and the fancy pen....He also successfully claimed hundreds of pounds in office expenses for a family-owned house in Morpeth, Northumberland, even though it was more than 330 miles away from his south-east London constituency.

Mr Conway’s wife, Colette, is employed as his PA. The family also had a home in Bexley.
Some of Mr Conway’s more surprising claims include £160 for a pigskin wallet from the Smythson luxury goods store on Bond Street, £165 for a rollerball pen from Mont Blanc in Sloane Square, and £84 for an engineer to retune the television at his London home.

All were rejected by Commons officials.

The details of the claims will thrust the MP back into the political spotlight.

In February this year he apologised to the House and accepted “without qualification” that he had abused the allowance system after he made payments to his two sons for parliamentary work they had apparently not done.

His youngest son, Frederick, was a full-time geography student at Newcastle University when his father was paying him to act as a parliamentary researcher.

Last June he claimed £65.71 for the transportation of books from London to the Morpeth home. Other purchases by Mr Conway on expenses included a £669.96 digital camera, a £573.99 television, a £199 Zanussi fridge freezer, a £174 “low radiation” telephone and a £399 sat nav device. All were funded from the incidental expenses provision (IEP), which is intended to cover the costs of running a constituency office.

He also successfully claimed £31 for a Smythson diary, £249 for a vacuum cleaner, £220 for repairs to a brief case, £675 for a Canon digital camera and £229 for a Nespresso coffee maker.
At one stage Mr Conway, who regularly spent £111 a month on coffee from Nespresso, ran out of funds in his IEP account to pay a bill for secretarial assistance which he had submitted.

Other spending by Mr Conway in north-east England included £74.90 worth of stationary from WH Smith in Alnwick, Northumberland, a £116 printer from Currys in Newcastle, a £19.99 BT headset from the Orange store in Newcastle, a Bromley floor lamp and a £95 push bin from the John Lewis store in Newcastle’s Eldon Square shopping centre.

Some of the items claimed for on the MP’s expenses were purchased by Mrs Conway, according to the receipts, including a £169.95 hands-free telephone set in Alnwick and a £13.99 computer
mat from a Newcastle business.

Last year, Mr Conway also claimed £174 for a low radiation telephone for the Northumberland property.

When officials queried why he submitted a claim for a property in the North East he repeated the claim that it was for the office in this house. In 2003, Mr Conway submitted mobile phone bills for a phone which he used in his capacity as the chief executive of the Cat Protection League.
The fees office has queried other claims by Mr Conway over the years.

In 2002 an official wrote to the MP to ask whether two lamps and a sofa had been bought for his south-east London constituency office, as stated, or for his home. Mr Conway said that the items were for his office, and that the sofa was necessary because he did not expect visitors to “stand for attention in my presence”.

He said he had spent £34.20 on ashtrays for his office and £35.30 on an unspecified gift for the Moroccan Foreign Minister.

Other claims by Mr Conway included £229 for a natural beech chair and £103.59 for two folding Clifford James banqueting tables.

In 2008 Mr Conway claimed £135 for 21 items of Wedgwood China from House of Fraser, described as “office crockery” on the expenses form.

Mr Conway also claimed regularly for more mundane items bought from Sainsbury’s including scourers for 14p, toilet cleanser for £1.98, 84p packets of caster sugar, tea-towels for £2.95 and dishcloths for £1.25.

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