Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell spent £15,600 taxpayers’ money on ‘communications and research support.’

The Argus has been looking at expenses claimed by our MPs.

Throughout 2019 and 2020, Caroline spent £4636.87 on office expenses, £10550 on staffing and £4900 on accommodation.

This financial year she claimed £2262.14 on office costs.

However, Caroline had claimed £18649 on staffing already. This is made up of £15,600 worth of bought services for ‘professional communications support’ and ‘research support.’

The biggest claim for research support was on July 6 for £4500.

She says her spending is within guidelines laid down for MPs.

Caroline said: “The research support costing £11,999 was hired from March until June as a temporary full-time staffing cost to help myself and my office deal with the Coronavirus emergency.

In March, I was still in the process of building my team after the election but, following the lockdown announcement, we were unable to recruit.

At the same time, the office was dealing with an unprecedented level of information, emails and correspondence. To ensure I did my very best for my constituents this resource was hired for this limited period and it was invaluable.

The smaller sum for professional communications support remains ongoing.

All this money is within IPSA guidelines and has been approved by this independent body.

I will also underspend on my staff budget in this financial year. The projection is to spend £152,000 against a total allowance from IPSA of £177,550.