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John Smith - Champagne socialist of the valleys.

John Smith, a Labour backbencher, took advantage of generous allowances to claim an average of £14,488 a year – more than the average salary of a minimum wage worker– without providing evidence of any spending.

When he eventually made a claim backed up by a receipt, it was for home furnishings including a vase, a frying pan, a bath robe, beaded drapes and poster art.

The MP for Vale of Glamorgan, in south Wales, claimed close to the maximum Additional Costs Allowance (ACA) in the four years between 2004/5 and 2007/8 to cover the expense of renting a small flat in London.

In addition to monthly rent of up to £560, he claimed the full £400 for groceries and several hundred pounds across the other categories every month.

In total the 58-year-old claimed £86,675 in ACA over the four years, of which £57,955 was for costs at his London address below the threshold for which evidence was required.

The amount is equivalent to £14,488 a year – well above the £11,024 that a typical full-time minimum wage worker could expect to earn.
Mr Smith claimed a total of £148,514 in overall expenses - including housing, office and staff costs - in 2007/8 but turned up for only 48 per cent of votes, spoke in 10 debates and asked just 10 questions in the same period.
He announced last week he was standing down at the next election, making him eligible for a resettlement grant of between £32,000 and £65,000 on leaving office, of which the first £30,000 is tax free.

A House of Commons official wrote to Mr Smith in July 2007, saying: "I notice you claim regular nominal amounts.

"Although we do not require sight of receipts or invoices for amounts which are £250 or less we would need to know on what these amounts are based. Ideally we would expect members to claim for actual amounts and not nominal sums."

Despite the letter, the MP continued to claim nominal amounts for the rest of financial year.

Good riddance and I hope he fucking dies one day after leaving The Commons, a total and utter cunt and disgrace to his office.

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