Peter Hoskin

Brown told to repay £12,415.10 of expenses

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Here's the statement from the office of the PM, courtesy of Sky's Cheryl Smith:

Mr Brown received a letter from Sir Thomas Legg this afternoon.

Sir Thomas Legg has issued his provisional conclusions to MPs, asking for further information where necessary before concluding in December.

Mr Brown has always supported this process and will cooperate fully and make the necessary repayment.

Mr Brown's expenses have always been cleared by the House Authorities as entirely consistent with the rules.

He has not claimed the maximum level of expenses.

The Review says its findings "carry no implication about the conduct or motives of the MPs concerned".

To be absolutely sure, Mr Brown has asked the Cabinet Secretary to ask Sir Philip Mawer in his role as Independent Adviser on Ministers Interests, to consider whether there has been any breach of the Ministerial Code.

He has confirmed there has been no such breach. He says: 'a request from Sir Thomas for further information or for the repayment of any sum of money does not of itself constitute evidence of a breach of the particular obligations placed on Ministers by the Ministerial Code.

In particular, the application by Sir Thomas of limits to existing categories of expense claims which were previously unrestricted within the overall scope of the ACA allowance does not imply that those who now find their claims to be in excess of the limits he has adopted have breached the Ministerial Code.'

Mr Brown has written to all Ministers urging them, where they are asked, to respond promptly and in full to any requests for further information and when the process is completed to make appropriate repayments.

Mr Brown has always supported clearing up the problems associated with the failed system of the past. Sir Christopher Kelly will shortly recommend a completely new system and the establishment of the independent Parliamentary Standards Authority takes the setting and adjudication of allowances out of the hands of MPs so the problems of the past cannot happen again.

Mr Brown looks forward to condemning the discredited old system to the history books.

Sir Thomas Legg's Provisional Conclusion on Mr Brown's Expenses Sir Thomas Legg has assessed Mr Brown's past expenses from 2004-05 to 2008-09.

Sir Thomas Legg's provisional conclusions assess that, over the five year period, £12,415.10 is in excess of the criteria he is now applying, which Mr Brown will pay in full.

Sir Thomas Legg has deemed that for cleaning any claim in excess of £2000 in any one year warrants repayment. He has included domestic cleaning, window cleaning, dry-cleaning and laundry in this category and has assessed over the five year period this amounts to £10,716.60.

Sir Thomas Legg has deemed that any claim in excess of £1000 in any one year for gardening warrants repayment. He has assessed that over the five year period this amounts to £302.50.

The review also alerted Mr Brown to a bill for painting and decorating of £1,396 from April 2006 that was inadvertently assigned by error to two quarters. This was not spotted or adjusted by the House Authorities at the time. Mr Brown has apologised for this inadvertent error. For the record, Cameron has been asked to provide more information about his mortgage claims.  While, according to The Times's Sam Coates, it's looking as though George Osborne is in the clear.