Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) have found “overwhelming evidence” that Labour MP Liam Byrne used parliamentary expenses to support his failed West Midlands mayoral campaign. It turns out one of his staff worked on his 2021 campaign while still contracted and paid by Parliament.
Despite working on the campaign for around 1,000 taxpayer-funded hours, IPSA have ruled Byrne will not have to repay the costs:
“Following the investigation, the Compliance Officer found that Mr Byrne did allow a staff member to work on his Mayoral Campaign during times the staff member was being paid by IPSA to conduct parliamentary work. A repayment direction has not been made and there is no requirement for the MP to reimburse IPSA in part for the staff member’s salary.”
Throughout that campaign, Guido repeatedly questioned Byrne’s use of expenses, raising questions over whether any had been diverted towards his election costs rather than his parliamentary duties. In 2021, Guido brought to light that Bryne’s constituency assistant was describing his primary role on Linkedin as “managing” Liam’s “campaigns”; and his former parliamentary “head of research” professed to having “developed local policy” for his West Midlands mayoral campaign. Guido was right, despite Byrne’s previous denials that he was fiddling his expenses.
Assuming the staffer was paid around £15 per hour, that’s £15,000 of taxpayers’ cash plus the rent that taxpayer paid to fund his campaign HQ. The man who said there was “no money left” owes taxpayers a lot of money…