AIRDRIE and Shotts MP John Reid claimed nearly £9000 for home refurbishments in his Parliamentary expenses and also submitted bills for a £600 LCD television, a bar tip and even a 48p toilet cleaner.
The revelations came when the House of Commons last week published MPs’ receipts dating back to 2004, and showed that Dr Reid has claimed a total of £499,168 in allowances during that period.
He has been reimbursed by the taxpayer for individual items ranging from a Sony Ericsson Z200 mobile phone at £139.99 and £50 in accompanying top-up vouchers right down to the toilet cleaner from Morrisons.
Included in between were a fridge, microwave, digital radio, set-top box and scart cable, a £17.99 box of Coffret Guanaja chocolates; and at the lower end of the cost scale three gift bags (£2.70), Typhoo tea bags (£2.58), tobacco (£1.36) and Canderel mints (£1.19).
The 62-year-old, who has previously filled the offices of home, defence and health secretary, claimed £3773 for services and maintenance in his additional costs allowance in February 2007.
Of that total, £1328 went on tiles and £2387 on a new bathroom, including two gold bath and taps kits (£539.99 each), two 9.5kw electric showers (£240), two stainless steel cabinets (£179.98), a shell toilet and sink pack (£159.99).
Receipts were also submitted for a white pivot door (£99), two double towel rails (£79.98), a castone tray (£75), a side panel (£67.50), three toilet rings (£59.97), a mirror (£49.99), a bath screen (£49), chrome basin taps (£39.99), two toilet roll holders (£39.98), a light (£29.99), two mahogany bath panels (£25 each), a gold shower trap (£14.99), a 50-watt mains voltage six pack (£14.99) and the now-infamous £29.99 black glitter toilet seat.
He also spent £24.99 on Malaki natural bed linen and £9.99 for a cream light shade – but after selling the property a month later, Dr Reid returned much of the cost of the new bathroom in a cheque for £1886 sent to the Parliamentary Fees Office.
Despite only having mortgage payments of £80 per month, the Airdrie and Shotts MP claimed £20,596 in second home allowance between April 2006 and March 2007, and spent a total of £8890 of taxpayers’ money refurbishing his constituency home.
His expenses also include a £79.95 purchase from Flowers Plus on Broomknoll Street in the town centre in September/October 2006, while the £64,766-per-year politician also claimed for a £1.50 bar tip and £5 laundry charge at a hotel in February 2007.
Dr Reid’s reading habits include The Islamist, Londonistan and The Meaning of the 21st Century, purchased at WH Smith in 2007 for £25.97 with a £7.99 book light, women’s fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar (£3.60) and Private Eye (£1.50).
Between 2001 and March 2008, the former Cabinet minister claimed a total of £881,579 in Parliamentary allowances.
The Advertiser made several attempts to contact Dr Reid, but he has yet to reply to an e-mailed list of questions requested by his office.
However, he told us last month: “When I moved, after staying in the same constituency home for more than 21 years, all legitimate costs were approved and were within the rules of the House of Commons authorities.”