The Mirror newspaper says eight members of the new Boris Johnson-led Cabinet are buy to let investors - and it accuses them of claiming expenses to rent homes near Parliament even though in some cases their own properties are close by.
The newspaper says the eight claimed a total of £145,838 back from taxpayers last year for properties they rented while in London. The Mirror claims:
- Defence Secretary Ben Wallace claimed £27,550 for rent in 2018/19 but lets out a flat in south-west London;
- Conservative chairman James Cleverly billed taxpayers £14,400 while letting out a house in Lewisham “just seven miles from Westminster”;
- Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry claimed £13,050 for rent and receives income from three houses in Anglesey;
- Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns claimed £18,900 for rent but let a property in Cardiff to tenants;
- Scottish Secretary Alister Jack claimed £11,310 while earning income from two cottages in his Dumfries and Galloway constituency;
- Security Minister Brandon Lewis (a former housing minister in the David Cameron-led coalition government) charged £21,795 and lets out his home in Essex;
- Attorney General Geoffrey Cox charged £22,680 while letting a property in London and farmland in west Devon;
- Chief Whip Mark Spencer claimed £16,153 for hotels while letting out a farm.
All of the ministers’ claims are within the law and they have all declared their buy to let income.
The Mirror says that on top of their £79,468 MPs’ salaries, ministers receive at least £31,680 for extra responsibilities.