Anyway, she spent £22,000 of taxpayers’ cash doing up her terraced house in Brixton. A new bathroom costing £1,460, a carpet for £980 and windows costing £5,610. As she explains to the fees office: "The basic situation is that this house was relatively cheap to purchase but requires quite a lot of work." This would be the house she lived in for five years before becoming an MP.
"The plumbing in the entire house is strange," she wrote, "There are pipes that are not used. Can we get them removed using the ACA? The electrics are also odd... I am not proposing a complete rewiring but would the ACA pay for it to be made child-safe? Most of the ceilings have Artex coverings. Three-dimensional swirls. It could be a matter of taste, but this counts as 'dilapidations' in my book!"
P.S. I do like this extract from the end of the letter on the Telegraph website (pdf here) - all her demands, plus "Working hard for Burnely and Padiham" at the bottom. Ms Ussher was certainly working hard when assembling this manifesto for revamping her Brixton flat - but it's not entirely clear how the people of Burnely and Padiham benefited.